What Is Lightning Crotch Pain, and How Do I Deal With It?

Lightning crotch is the colloquial term for sharp pain in the pelvic area during pregnancy. Usually, the sharp electric shock sensation is not life-threatening or a sign of impending labor. While it’s generally harmless, the pain is very real. Luckily, there are a few effective lightning crotch pain remedies for moms who have been there.

What Is Lightning Crotch Pain?

As any first-time mom-to-be out there will tell you for free, pregnancy is usually accompanied by a nerve-wracking set of annoying, painful, and often surprising symptoms. Lightning crotch is one of those common pregnancy experiences that no one told you about. But what exactly is it?

As the name aptly suggests, lightning crotch refers to a sharp pain in the vaginal area, like an electric jolt or sting, that many moms-to-be feel during the third trimester. The pain is usually brief, lasting no more than a few seconds. The medical community recognizes this type of pain as a common, unpleasant, but mostly harmless symptom of pregnancy.

Experiencing lightning crotch for the first time can be pretty scary, but there’s no need to be scared. Unless the sharp shooting pain is accompanied by contractions, vaginal bleeding, fever, or other concerning symptoms, there is nothing to worry about. As a standalone symptom, lightning crotch should not be a cause for concern.

What Does It Feel Like?

There are many different types of pain during pregnancy. Sometimes, all these moments of discomfort may seem similar but there are key differences. What does lightning crotch feel like? Well, the symptoms usually vary from one person to another.

However, this pregnancy symptom often manifests as:

  • A brief, sharp, shooting pain that feels more like a bolt of electricity in the pelvic area.
  • Some moms-to-be describe lightning crotch as stinging or a pins-and-needles sensation in the same area.
  • Intense pelvic pain that’s stronger than menstrual cramps but doesn’t last long, often lasting anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds.
  • Sudden bursts of pain that come on suddenly without warning and then disappear.
  • It may also present itself as an uncomfortable, take-your-breath-away pain down the legs.

As stated earlier, lightning crotch pain can feel a little different for everyone. It may be barely perceptible, or it can be so debilitating that you double over in pain. Besides your pelvis, you might also feel pain in your vagina, uterus, or rectum.

What Causes Lightning Crotch?

Lightning crotch can happen to anyone. If you experience a sudden sharp pain deep inside your crotch during pregnancy, you might want to know what’s causing it. Here are some of the most common causes of lightning crotch pain among those who are expecting.

Nerve Irritation

There are a lot of nerve endings in the cervix and uterus. Irritation or stimulation of the complicated nerve bundles in your pelvic area can contribute to the sensation. Your pregnancy could be irritating your nerves, creating those sensations of sharp, shooting pain in your pelvis and surrounding regions.

Dropping

In many cases, crotch pain can be attributed to your baby growing larger. Lightning crotch tends to occur during the third trimester when the baby’s head starts to push on the lower part of the uterus before birth. This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘dropping’ and is all part of the body getting ready to give birth.

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms are another possible cause of lightning crotch in expecting mothers. The muscles in your pelvic floor have to adapt to a growing uterus and other physical changes in the body during pregnancy. The pelvic bones are also expanding and rotating constantly, causing your entire pelvic musculature to respond this way.

Foetal Movement

Babies can be very active in the womb. The sharp jolts of pain you feel in your pelvis could simply be a result of the baby moving in the uterus. All that movement might trigger muscle spasms or irritate nerve endings in the pelvic area resulting in brief zaps of pain in the crotch.

Softening Cervix

A softening cervix is another sign of the body gradually prepping itself for delivery. A softer cervix can stretch or even shorten more easily due to pressure from the baby’s head. All these changes to the cervix can cause brief, sharp pain in the crotch area.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections during pregnancy. A UTI could also manifest in the form of pelvic pain. If the brief zaps are accompanied by the need to pee constantly, cloudy or blood-tinged urine, or a burning sensation when you pee, you may have a UTI.

Changing Positions

Sometimes even a simple body movement or change in your position can trigger crotch pain. Changing your position can increase the pressure on the pelvic region, leading to shooting pain in the area. The good news is that the pain goes away quickly, even if it takes your breath away for a moment.

Magnesium Deficiency

It’s very common for women to have magnesium deficiency during pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency is known to cause terrible leg cramps during pregnancy, but it can cause muscle spasms as well as sudden and sharp pains deep in your pelvis.

Pelvic pain during pregnancy is very common. And it’s not just lightning crotch, there are many other types of pelvic pain during pregnancy. These include Round Ligament PainSciatica, and Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). It’s even possible to experience more than one type of pelvic pain at once.

unidentified pregnant woman taking supplements

A magnesium supplement can help alleviate cramps and muscle spasms.

Should I Be Worried?

While lightning crotch can be sharp, intense, and take your breath away for a second, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, you should call your doctor right away if the zaps last more than a minute at a time or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as bad headaches, fever, vaginal bleeding, or dizziness.

Natural Remedies for Pelvic Pain

Although the shooting electric pain in the pelvic area is usually not a cause for concern, it can seem like a pretty big deal when it’s happening to you. If you find lightning crotch pain too bothersome, there are some ways to decrease your discomfort. Here are some natural remedies for crotch pain.

  • Shift your position. Simply changing your position can cause the baby to shift and lift the pressure off a nerve.
  • Take a warm bath to relax your muscles. Make sure that the water is not too hot to raise your body temperature.
  • Movement and exercise. Staying active helps ease your discomfort. Walking and swimming are great options for expecting mothers.
  • Wear an abdominal support band. Belly support garments relieve the sharp, shooting pains of lightning crotch by taking some weight off the pelvis.

If your lightning crotch pain is caused by magnesium deficiency, you might want to consider increasing your magnesium intake. You can do that by making sure your prenatal vitamins offer plenty of magnesium. Taking a doctor-approved supplement may also be helpful.

BINTO can help. Our doctor-recommended prenatal vitamins will help you fill any nutritional gaps and ensure an abundance of all nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, including magnesium, folate, calcium, vitamins B and C, and zinc. Our supplements are made with high-quality ingredients to ensure your health and well-being.

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