What is Lightning Crotch Pain?

It’s got a cringey name, but that doesn’t make lightning crotch pain any less serious for the women who experience it. What is it and why does it happen? More importantly, what should you do about it if it happens to you?

A sudden, shooting pain that’s felt in the pelvis, rectum, or vagina, lightning crotch is often felt in the third trimester of pregnancy. In addition to the shooting pain, it can include symptoms like a pins and needles sensation, as well as pain that radiates down the legs. Sometimes the pain is so intense that it causes the woman to double over in response, but the pain typically comes on suddenly and dissipates quickly.

Doctors aren’t completely sure why this happens, but there are a variety of possible causes. First, as the growing fetus moves, pressure on the nerves can cause sharp pain. Then, too, as the baby’s head drops lower into the pelvis in preparation for labor, the new position can also cause pressure on sensitive parts of the body. Finally, as the body prepares for birth, the pelvic bones can pull away and separate. Sometimes, the ligaments supporting the uterus can stretch and cause pain when you move in a certain way.

Sometimes, staying in one position too long can trigger lighting crotch pain. You can alleviate this pain, then, by shifting your position. In general, remaining active and changing positions frequently can help prevent this pain from occurring. Other home treatments include using side-lying positions, placing a pillow between your legs while sleeping, wearing a pregnancy support belt, and doing Kegel exercises. A warm bath or prenatal massage can also be helpful. If it’s extremely problematic, this pain can also be treated using chiropractic adjustments or a pelvic block, an injection of pain medication into the affected region.

Sometimes, lightning crotch pain can be an early sign of labor. If you’re experiencing other symptoms, like period-like cramps, pelvic pressure, diarrhea, a burst of energy, or loss of the mucus plug, pay attention. If you start having consistent contractions, it’s time to call the doctor. Symptoms that mean you should call the doctor right away include vaginal bleeding, a temperature above 100 degrees, abdominal pain, a severe headache, sudden swelling of the face, hands, or feet, new problems with your vision, or a sudden rush of fluid, also known as your water breaking.

The good news is that for most women, this pain usually passes quickly. Even better, it will go away entirely once the baby is born. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s actually a normal part of a healthy pregnancy.

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.