Cervical pain during pregnancy, while startling, is generally a very normal symptom and nothing to be concerned about. Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy and you’ll likely have some more aches and pains than usual. Some of these pains won’t be too startling, some may even be expected, but sometimes you might get some pains that you weren’t expecting. One of those unexpected pains is sharp, shooting pains in your cervix. Why does no one tell you about those?
While those pains are generally normal, if you are experiencing excruciating pains or if your pains are accompanied by bleeding, you should definitely get yourself checked out by your healthcare provider.
While it is generally not a concern to feel sharp pains in your cervix during pregnancy, it is always a good idea to be clued up about the causes of cervical pain during pregnancy and how to relieve those pains.
Causes of Vaginal Pain during Pregnancy
As previously stated, vaginal pain during pregnancy is experienced by many women and isn’t usually a cause for concern. There are several reasons why you might be experiencing these symptoms and unless your pain is negatively impacting your daily life or you are also experiencing bleeding along with the pains there isn’t usually any need to seek medical advice, although you might want to mention it at your next appointment just to be safe.
First Trimester Vaginal Pain;
Vaginal pain in your first trimester is most likely caused by the very early stages of your uterus stretching. You’re most likely to experience the pains during the first trimester if this is your first pregnancy, however, you can still experience these pains if this is not your first pregnancy. As the embryo implants itself and begins to grow, your uterus must begin expanding in order to allow the embryo to grow. This can cause sharp, stabbing pains in your cervix.
Another reason that you might be feeling stabbing pains in your vagina is a UTI. Pregnant women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections so it might be worth taking the necessary steps to check if you have one so you can get it cleared up.
It’s also very important to have some tests carried out if you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection. Some STI’s such as chlamydia can cause sharp pains in the vagina. Chlamydia is dangerous during pregnancy and can cause a miscarriage or stillbirth so if you think you might be at risk of having an STI, you really need to seek urgent medical help.
Second Trimester Vaginal Pain;
The second trimester is usually the most comfortable trimester for most women. The sickness has passed, the baby isn’t uncomfortably big yet and you’re starting to look more visibly pregnant. However, you might still be experiencing the sharp pains in your cervix. This could still be caused by an expanding uterus. Your uterus never stops expanding until the baby is ready to be born, so these pains might plague you until your baby arrives. However, for most women, they do go away eventually.
Another reason for cervical pains during your second trimester is gas. If you’re in your second trimester, I don’t need to tell you that pregnancy makes you more flatulent because no doubt you’ll already know firsthand. As the bowel expands due to the buildup of gas, it can push against your other organs causing pain and discomfort low down. It’s not the most pleasant reason for vaginal pain, but let’s face it, what is?
As with the first trimester, it might also be worth making sure you don’t have a urinary tract infection or cystitis. Some women get these a lot through pregnancy so if the pains are recurrent and are concerning you, it might ease your mind to mention them to your doctor.
Third Trimester Vaginal Pain;
As your pregnancy progresses, your baby will bear down. The developing baby applies weight on the pelvic tendons and nerves. This might cause a sharp pain in the lower abdomen or a pushing or uncomfortable feeling low down in your cervix but it isn’t usually a cause for concern.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that cervical pain in the third trimester, especially if you have reached 37+ weeks, could be indicative of labor. If you think you might be going in to labor, don’t panic! Time those contractions, get your hospital bag at the ready and get ready to meet your little baby.
How to relieve pelvic pain during pregnancy?
Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons you might be feeling cervical pain during pregnancy, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to alleviate this pain. Mercifully, there are a few things you can try to help ease your discomfort;
- Lying down to your left side may enable you to get some relief while also enhancing blood flow.
- Sitting upright with your feet lifted helps to reduce weight, and can help to ease vaginal pain.
- Lying down while having your hips hoisted a little can also help. Use some pillows underneath your hips so you’re comfortable.
- A long soak in the bath could help ease some pains as well as help you relax.
- A professional pregnancy massage could help with blood flow, as well as ease your aches and pains. This could help with the cervical pains by easing any tension build up you may have which could contribute to the pain. Plus, you’re growing a baby – you deserve it.
- Simple, gentle exercises like yoga can help ease some pains as well as help with flexibility.