Sudden stabbing pains got you grabbing your crotch? You've got lightning crotch. Find out the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention. 

Lightning crotch, aka symphysis pubis dysfunction is a very disturbing kind of pain pregnant women experience around the vagina, rectum or pelvic region. The name 'lightning' comes from the sudden nature of this pain (occurs out of the blue) and because it feels like being hit by lightning (literally!).

Symptoms of Lightning Crotch

The main symptom is a zing or zip feeling in the pelvic region, followed by pain, which can spread to the rectum and vagina. Pregnant women complain of feeling pain when moving around or when the baby gives a kick. It usually occurs during the last half of the third trimester and lasts a minute, although it can be on and off.

Causes of Lightning Crotch

The exact cause is not known, but it is assumed that as the baby moves downwards the birth canal, there is pressure on the pubic bone and the back of the pelvis which causes pain. But not all down-there pain is caused by lightning crotch, some may be signs of something more serious. You should go see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • chills, fever, and a smelly discharge
  • bleeding
  • severe cramping
  • other pain in addition to the lightning crotch
  • unable to walk, move or do other physical activity
  • never-ending pain or pain that comes at short intervals

What Triggers Lightning Crotch

Lightning crotch may strike out of the blue, but certain situations bring it on:

  • Squatting
  • Sitting for a long time
  • Changing position after a long time
  • Picking up heavy stuff
  • Baby changing position
  • Standing up in a rush

Despite these situations, most pregnant women often experience lightning crotch when they visit the loo in the middle of the night. Usually, this happens during the third trimester.

Women who carry big babies or multiple babies (twins or triplets) or babies turned sunny-side up (babies facing upwards in the birth canal and with their skulls pressing against the back of the pelvis) are at a greater risk of lightning crotch.

Treatment and Prevention

Lightning crotch cannot be treated or prevented but you can make some adjustments in your lifestyle that can help lower the risk of having it:

  • wear a belly band to lessen the pressure on your pelvis
  • stand up slowly
  • go for a massage
  • be active; go for a brief walk (15 minutes max) every few hours
  • don't sit idle for long; change your position often
  • exercise (flexibility and strengthening workouts for the legs, back and hips)


Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician concerning anything you have read here. 


Source: The Healthy


By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team

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