What Is Lightning Crotch? This Aptly Named Feeling Is A Real Thing In Pregnancy

Ad failed to load

As a newly pregnant person, I’m surprised every day by new symptoms. I knew the nausea and fatigue would happen, and the indigestion and heartburn. But what I wasn’t prepared for was lightning crotch. What is lightning crotch, you say? Unfortunately, this aptly (and humorously) named phenomenon is exactly what it sounds like. And it’s a quite painful and shocking surprise when you suddenly feel like someone shot a volt of electricity right up and into your vagina and rectum simultaneously.

My best friend is actually pregnant at the same time as me, but with her second child. So I go to her for advice quite a bit as she’s already been there, and is there again. When I was woken up by a light saber to the vagina, I immediately texted my friend and asked what it means to feel like a gremlin with a fire dagger was going to town down there. “Hooray, welcome to lightning crotch,” she said. From a medical standpoint, lightning crotch is pain and discomfort in your pelvis and vagina and is “caused by increased blood flow to that area due to pregnancy and also by the enlarging uterus,” according to Dr. Diana Roth, an OB-GYN at Boro Park OB-GYN in Brooklyn, New York.

Ad failed to load

And here I thought this was just something that indicated you were going into labor, which I sure as heck hoped I wasn’t since I was only eight weeks along at the time. Roth explains in an email interview with Romper, “Pain and discomfort are very common in early pregnancy, especially in the first trimester as your body is experiencing many new changes, including the uterus growing and increased blood flow to your pelvis. The uterus enlarging often means that your bladder is getting compressed — all of which can cause discomfort.” And is also why you have to pee a billion times a day, I might add.

When is the severity of pain and timing not OK and you need to call your OB-GYN right away? “If you get it very early in pregnancy and have already seen your OB-GYN and was diagnosed with an intrauterine pregnancy (i.e., in the womb) and no cysts were seen on the sonogram, then you don't need to be concerned unless you also experience vaginal bleeding with cramping,” Roth says. “If, however, you have pain and were not seen by your OB-GYN, then you need to contact your provider to ensure that the pain is not a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, you don’t have an ovarian cyst, and you don’t have a urinary tract infection."

Ad failed to load

Additionally, Roth says you should alert your provider if pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting or if you experience bleeding with the pain. “Regardless, even if you are feeling well, schedule your initial OB-GYN visit within two weeks of a positive pregnancy test,” Roth advises.

So what can you do about it? As far as treatment or prevention, there is none, except you can take your trusty pregnancy-safe acetaminophen to alleviate pain if it’s lingering and continuously uncomfortable.

If you’re suddenly doubled over for a brief second from a lightning bolt to the crotch, at least you can rest assured it’s completely normal, and you can add it to the list of oh so wonderful pregnancy symptoms. But when you’re closer to your due date, you may want to pay closer attention to those pains, as it could indicate you’re about to go into labor. But for now, just grin and bear it and breathe, as long as the pain isn’t accompanied by bleeding, nausea and vomiting. Hooray pregnancy, am I right?

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack