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 can happen when you're not pregnant, 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. Although anecdotal evidence suggests it is not an uncommon experience at all, its exact causes are not totally understood yet. "The true cause of lightning pain is unknown, however the most popular theory is that the weight of the baby compresses on nerves that run to the vagina, causing a jolt of pain," said Amy Gildner, a physiotherapist at West End Mamas in Toronto, in HuffPost Canada. Although the symptoms can be uncomfortable or outright painful, it is a pretty routine part of pregnancy for some people, and generally not a huge cause for concern.
When a person is not pregnant, however, lightning crotch symptoms can mean something entirely different. In fact, 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 Romper. 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 in 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.