I was about 36 weeks pregnant the first time I felt sharp pain in my vagina. I had no idea what was happening. It felt like electricity was shooting out of my vagina, which was just as painful as it sounds. I wondered if I was in labor or if my baby was OK, so I called my midwife to ask. She laughed and reassured me that while painful, vaginal pain during pregnancy is common and, usually, not a big deal. Turns out, I had lightning crotch during pregnancy and there are so many things I wish I had known about it.
Namely, what it was and that it was normal. Pregnancy is scary, especially when you're experiencing it for the very first time. I called my midwife no fewer than 50 times about various aches and pains, and other symptoms that caused me to freak out and automatically assume that something was wrong with me, my pregnancy, or my growing baby. I had no idea that shooting electrical pain seemingly coming from my cervix was normal, and why would I? It was the least "normal-feeling" pain I've ever experienced. In fact, it's pretty much the weirdest thing I've ever felt.
According to my midwife, my lightning crotch pain was likely a sign that my cervix was changing. My baby had descended into my pelvis to get ready for birth, so the pressure was causing my cervix to thin and dilate. The end result? Lightning-like pains. While it might seem like reassuring information, this was actually terrifying to hear four weeks before my baby's due date. But then I learned that lightning crotch might be a sign of something else entirely, and completely unrelated to labor. It was so frustrating when I stayed dilated for weeks without going into labor, actually going five days past my daughter's due date.
So, yeah, since lightning crotch is something they probably *don't* cover in your pregnancy and birth class, here are a few things about it that might put your mind at ease if you feel pain down there during pregnancy.