16 Moms Describe The "Special" Kind Of Pain That Is Lightning Crotch

For most of us soon-to-be moms pregnancy isn't some blissfully enjoyable experience. Well, at least not 100 percent of the time. For me, being pregnant was like an adventure, and on this adventure I discovered something disgusting or painful about my pregnant body on a near-daily basis. But the weirdest, most unpleasant and unnerving pain of pregnancy had to be lightning crotch. So, what does lightning crotch feel like? Well, they don't use the word "lightning" for nothing.

Lightning crotch is one of those things that you really have to experience to understand. Personally, I thought this phenomenon felt like a sharp, electric, sudden pain between my legs. It was so painful and weird that I thought I was in labor or, even worse, that something was wrong with my baby. I mean, feeling like I was being stabbed with a light saber by my Jedi Knight fetus definitely didn't qualify as "normal" in my book. When I called my midwife, though, she told me I was experiencing "lightning crotch" and I had noting to worry about. And even though its name suggests otherwise, it's not caused by a lightning bolt but by your cervix dilating or your baby's head irritating the nerves in your uterus.

When I've talked with other pregnant people and moms who've felt the horror that is lightning crotch, I've learned that I'm not alone in thinking the sensation was scary and painful. While pain is personal and can feel different for everyone, lightning crotch is simply unmistakable. So with that in mind, here's how a few moms would describe this "special" pregnancy pain:


"Ah, memories. Lightning crotch is the worst. I feel like the name is the most apt description, as it literally felt like lightning. I would also like to point out that the crotch area included the rectum — at least it did for me. It made my knees buckle."

Rachel, 32

"It feels like a very abrupt stabbing pain. There were times it stopped me in my tracks and times it almost brought me to tears. The first time it happened I thought something bad was happening. Thankfully, all was well."

Caitlin, 32

"Oh, it is the worst! I am 37 weeks pregnant and I’ve been getting it since around 20 weeks. It feels like your baby is literally trying to claw its way out of your cervix."

Melissa, 29

"Lighting crotch felt like someone was taking a knife and literally stabbing me in the public area. It made it impossible to sit down and stand up without wincing in pain. Which is fantastic when you’re pregnant because you’re literally sitting down on the toilet all the time."

Crystal, 23

"Lightning crotch feels like lightning bolts going straight through my cervix. Like a quick but very sharp stabbing pain. If I didn't know where my cervix was before, I certainly do now."

Jessica, 32

"Like someone stabbed a red hot poker right up between my legs. Trying to walk through it is sheer agony so I have to stop and wait for it to pass before I can continue."

Lauren, 36

"Like stepping on a Lego. With your vagina."


"I didn’t know this had a name. It literally stopped me in my tracks at work and made me want to cry, but I was so surprised and it was so painful I couldn’t manage to cry out. I felt like I was going to collapse when the pain shot through me. There were a handful of times I got this when I wasn’t pregnant, too. I later discovered it was due to endometriosis."

Kristi, 28

"I had it with both of my full-term pregnancies and each time it felt like my child was trying to 'Hulk punch' through my cervix and stage dive out of there."

Brittney, 27

"Lightning crotch, to me, felt like I was housing a tiny Thor in my uterus, and at random times he would bring all the power of Mjölnir down right on my cervix."

Erinn, 27

"Whenever I stood up during the last couple weeks with my first it happened. It was like being stabbed in the cervix, then the pain radiated through my entire crotch like ripples in a pond. It made me have to catch my breath every time."

Cianna, 26

"OMFG. So, I was sitting at work and it felt like someone shoved a cattle prod against me. I screamed. I was terrified, thinking something was wrong with my body or the pregnancy. It happened daily for weeks, and I had to move around a bit, but there just wasn't a way to avoid it. Thankfully, I saw a maternal-fetal medicine doctor and he was fantastic at explaining all the uncommon things I was experiencing."


"It hurt so exquisitely bad — like my body was being zapped in half from the inside of my vagina. I had never felt anything like it. It was so weird and painful that I called the 24-hour nurse's line at my OB-GYN's office in a panic, because I was sure I was in labor. The nurse explained what it was, but it hurt so bad I went to the ER. I didn't believe her."


"Like there’s a red hot three inch nail being hammered into my pubic bone. Sometimes I almost collapse, especially if I stand up and move wrong."


"It felt like my crotch was going numb, but that I was also being stabbed and had an iron set on it."

Drea, 38

"Like a zapping, electric pain that took your breath away. When I wasn't getting crotch zaps it was back spasms that pulsated up my spine and into my brain. Also, it felt like a bowling ball was constantly trying to drop out of me. So. Much. Pressure."