Pregnancy is an interesting and unpredictable time for most women, and the cervix is a major part of the mystery. Before pregnancy, chance are you aren't even really aware of this amazing body part, but then you get pregnant and suddenly you feel like your cervix is reliving each stab scene in the Scream movies. That sudden and unpleasant stabbing pain down there is called lightning crotch, and if you aren't quite sure what you're experiencing, there are a couple clear signs of lightning crotch to let you know.
With the first random ping of pain, it's pretty natural to feel the need to reach out to your OB-GYN. Especially considering the anxiety it might cause to feel like lightning just shot through your vagina, it's expected to feel concerned at first. But you don't need to panic. Lightning crotch is a fairly normal and fun (not) symptom of pregnancy most expecting moms are bound to run across at some point or another. The only causes for concern include signs your lightning crotch needs medical attention, like excess bleeding, extreme fever, or severe back pain. These signs, however, are not generally directly related to lightning crotch. Instead, they can be related to other issues, like a kidney infection, and might feel similar but aren't quite the same.
When you first experience lightning crotch could honestly be at any point in your pregnancy. If you don't have any cysts or general issues, this vaginal pain could be due to your uterus growing and increased blood flow to your pelvis. Both of these things actually compress your bladder, which can cause all kinds of uncomfortable feelings.
In the second trimester, however, the risk of lightning crotch (and reasons it might happen to you) increase quite a bit. This is a time when your baby starts dancing, kicking, and moving around like crazy in the womb, along with experiencing big growth spurts. Mama Natural shared that the stretching that occurs with round ligaments that support the uterus and pelvis can result in lightning crotch pain, often due to the growth and gymnastics occurring inside. A piece of advice is to sometimes increase your magnesium intake, as some experts believe a deficiency could contribute to your striking pain.
Moving into the second trimester, there are even more reasons why you might experience lightning crotch, such as your baby's intrauterine gymnastics (nothing like a tiny foot kicking you in the cervix!) and increasing weight. Varicose veins are another possible cause for lightning crotch at this point, as they can develop in the labia and vagina during pregnancy. What fun! And that's not all: Stretching of the round ligaments, which support the uterus and pelvis, can result in this type of pain, explains the pregnancy guide Mama Natural. Some experts believe that magnesium deficiency might make these symptoms worse, as it is essential for proper nerve function (but be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements!).
If you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, lightning crotch can be even more prevalent with your body's preparation to deliver — it's a sign you're getting closer to labor every day, according to Healthline. Just remember that as off-putting as a sudden lightning of pain through your vagina feels, it's generally not a cause for concern. If you're unsure what you're experiencing, here are some signs and causes to watch for throughout your nine months of pregnancy.