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What is Lightning Crotch Pain in Pregnancy?

Lightning crotch is a commonly accepted term for — to put it frankly — a stabbing pain in the vagina felt during pregnancy. This sharp pain in the pelvic area can strike at any time from the early pregnancy in the first trimester but is most often felt in the weeks of your third trimester.

There’s actually no medical term for this super-painful shock and unfortunately, there is no definite answer from doctors as to what causes lightning crotch.

The most common theory is that your growing baby is pushing against a nerve. As your baby gets bigger and heavier they are more likely to press on an area that can cause a jolt of pain. That’s why lightning crotch is most common in pregnant mums who are into their 3rd trimester, at around 35 to 38 weeks pregnant.

The good news is that the pain is short and sharp (15 to 60 seconds), and doesn’t affect your baby. If your lightning crotch pain lasts longer than this, or is ongoing, you should consult your doctor or midwife.

As for the causes of this stabbing feeling and how to prevent it, lightning pain most often occurs when you have been in the same position for an extended period of time such as sleeping or sitting at a desk.

Try to move regularly and change positions throughout the day. Engaging in pregnancy exercise, especially yoga and stretching, can help keep your pelvis and hips flexible.

Finally, wearing a maternity support garment that supports your bump and alleviates pressure on your pelvis area can also help reduce or prevent this painful pregnancy symptom.