Once a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to undergo several changes.
Sadly. it’s normal to experience some level of pain as these changes occur. Pregnant women often feel pain in almost all parts of their body at one point or another; from their lower backs to their breasts or even abdomens.
In addition, pain in the cervix is also common. This pain usually begins in the second trimester and lasts until delivery.
What are the possible causes, symptoms and treatments of pain in the cervix during pregnancy?
Read on to find out.
Causes of Cervical Pain During Pregnancy
Here are some possible reasons why a pregnant woman may experience pain in the cervix:
1. Enlargement of the Womb
The size of the uterus/womb increases dramatically during pregnancy in order to accommodate the growing foetus. This massive uterine growth causes increased pressure in the vagina and surrounding muscles.
Also, your pelvic ligaments will have to be stretched to accommodate the extra weight as your baby grows. Sometimes, this may lead to overstretching which will be felt as a sharp, shooting pain. This pain is called “lightening pain”, and it can be so startling that some women think that they are actually in labour.
However, this is usually a false alarm, and you do not have to worry about labour yet.
2. Fluctuating Hormones
Pregnancy is a time when your hormones are all over the place, and changing from time to time. These changes may also affect your vagina, causing it to be excessively dry.
This dryness can cause pain, especially during sex.
3. Cervical Dilation
Cervical dilation simply means that your cervix is opening, usually in preparation for child birth. Sometimes, this dilation may cause a sharp, shooting pain, especially as you approach your due date.
However, there is no actual need to worry as this is your body’s natural way of preparing for labour and childbirth. Nevertheless, if you feel pain in your lower abdomen or the pain gets severe, consult your doctor immediately.
4. Increased Blood Volume
Your blood volume increases during pregnancy due to increased levels of pregnancy hormones. This is usually accompanied with increased blood flow to the vagina which may cause you some discomfort or pain.
5. Ectopic Pregnancy
This is a pregnancy where the foetus attaches to anywhere else other than the womb. This pregnancies cannot be carried to full term as the baby cannot survive anywhere other than the womb.
When this happens, a woman would most likely experience pain in her cervix. In some cases, an ectopic pregnancy will rupture whatever site it is attached to, causing abdominal and cervical pain, vagina bleeding, lightheadedness, nausea, e.t.c.
You should consult your doctor immediately if you think you may be having an ectopic pregnancy.
6. Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
Pelvic organ prolapse is a medical condition during pregnancy where certain internal organs move down towards the vagina or rectum.
Most women describe it to feel as if something is pushing down on their vagina. An organ prolapse increases the pressure in the vagina and may cause complications and intense pain.
Thankfully, this condition can be treated, so consult your doctor if you feel intense vaginal pressure, pain or develop bowel problems.
How To Cope With Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women will have to deal with pain in the cervix at some point in their pregnancy. Your doctor will likely recommend pain medications to manage the pain.
Asides that, there are a few things you can do to bring yourself some much needed relief:
- Try to lie down on your left side more, with your hips elevated if possible. This will help improve blood circulation and relieve vaginal pressure.
- Sitting with your feet elevated will also help reduce vaginal pressure and in turn, vaginal pain.
- You can try the old age remedy; warm baths. They have been proven to work like magic and they help soothe and relax all your achy muscles.
- Engaging in light physical activities is also another great way to alleviate vaginal pain. You can try yoga, swimming, walking, or kegel exercises for at least 30 minutes a day. This will help improve blood circulation, strengthen your muscles and most importantly, relive pain.
- A pelvic massage is also another great remedy for managing cervical pain. Ensure to seek the medical advice and services of a trained professional before getting a massage.
- The pressure you feel in your vagina may be more intense if your pregnancy is a large one. A pregnancy support belt will be very helpful in relieving pressure in this situation.
When to See a Doctor
Pain in your cervix can be very uncomfortable, even though it is a common problem among pregnant women. Although the few tips listed in this article may help relive your pain, consult your doctor if you feel your pain getting worse.
Finally, speak with your health care providers about any questions, concerns, or medications to help relive your pain.
- Flack NA, Hay-Smith EJ, Stringer MD, Gray AR, Woodley SJ. Adherence, tolerance and effectiveness of two different pelvic support belts as a treatment for pregnancy-related symphyseal pain – a pilot randomized trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15:36.
- Pennick V, Liddle SD. Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;8:CD001139.
- Depledge J, Mcnair PJ, Keal-Smith C, Williams M. Management of symphysis pubis dysfunction during pregnancy using exercise and pelvic support belts. Phys Ther. 2005;85(12):1290-300.