Pregnant women endure all sorts of bizarre aches and pains, including a shooting pelvic sensation known as lightning crotch. It can be uncomfortable, but the sensation is generally normal in the case of expectant mothers. But lightning crotch when you're not pregnant can happen, too, and that may point to some different health concerns entirely. Despite the colorful name, it is a very specific pain that affects many people.
Named after the sudden, zinging pain in a person's pelvic area, lightning crotch is not uncommon in pregnancy, as explained in Healthline, but exact causes are not totally understood yet. When a person is not pregnant, however, lightning crotch symptoms can mean something entirely different. "It’s not uncommon for women to feel sharp pain in the vaginal area," OB-GYN Dr. Candice Fraser of Your Doctors Online tells Romper. "These pains are typically brief, lasting seconds or minutes, but can last longer. This can be a sign of many things including endometriosis (especially if it is a recurring pain), bladder infection, vaginal infection, and also a random occurrence with no clear cause."
It turns out, anything from endometriosis to bladder infections to a ruptured cyst could cause lightning crotch pains, as explained in Medical News Today. In other words, there are a lot of potential causes, some more serious and concerning than others.
First, consider endometriosis as a cause for lightning pain. A disorder that causes endometrial tissue to grow outside the uterus, endometriosis is infamous for causing intense and sometimes debilitating pain, as explained in the Mayo Clinic. One common description of endo pain compares it to a flash of lightning, as explained in Medium. This sounds a lot like the way pregnant women describe lightning crotch.
Next, there are urinary tract infections, AKA bladder infections. Now bladder infections are commonplace, but they can be amazingly painful. In fact, the pain described as lightning crotch and bladder infection pain can be kind of indistinguishable, or at least severe enough to require a doctor's visit, as noted in a previous Romper article. And although they are often more annoying than anything, bladder infections can spread to the kidneys and cause some serious complications, as explained in the Mayo Clinic. Basically? If you are experiencing severe and electric pain in your abdominal area, then checking with your physician is a good idea.
Lastly, consider the cyst. In fact, a ruptured cyst can cause severe pain in the lower belly, as explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Because ruptured cysts can cause some serious complications that require surgery, this is another reason that random lightning crotch-like pains should be checked out by a medical professional.
Please note that this is in no way an exhaustive list, and that lightning crotch pain without pregnancy can have so many causes. If you feel at all concerned about lightning crotch or any other health conditions, then get a checkup from your healthcare professional. "For any pain that is severe and persists or recurs, I recommend seeing an gynecologist to rule out anything concerning," Fraser says. The name may be slightly funny, but the pain could be something more serious.
Additional reporting by Samantha Darby.
Dr. Candice Fraser, OB-GYN with Your Doctors Online
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