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Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Last updated on September 28th, 2021 at 01:21 pm

Have you heard of lightning crotch? Learn what kind of pain lightning crotch causes and when you should call the doctor.

Have you experienced a sudden sharp pain deep inside your crotch while you are pregnant? Something that feels like an electric shock or someone punched you with brass knuckles, possibly with some burning, pins and needles, or stinging thrown in for fun?

Yes? First I am sorry. Second, then you’ve experienced what’s known as lightning crotch. The very uncomfortable, deep pelvic pain is surprisingly common later in pregnancy, and it typically hits without any warning at all. This makes for a fun trip to the grocery store.

The pain from lightning crotch should last just a few seconds. Anything longer you should bring up with your doctor at your next appointment to double-check that you aren’t having Zeus’s children. (Kidding, check with your doctor.)

Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Tell me more

Lightning crotch generally presents in the late second or third trimester, as your body prepares for delivery. The severity depends on your babies position and size. Pain might actually increase as the babies move around inside the womb. Yay, for us! Also, stimulation of nerve endings in the cervix and uterus by all that added pressure will cause this delightful symptom as well.

You can expect the lightning crotch pain to go away delivery. Not everyone will experience it, but you will definitely know if you do. 

How do I know it’s lightning crotch?

Pelvic discomfort and pain during pregnancy are very common (still excited to be pregnant)— and you can have more than one kind of pelvic pain or discomfort at once but lightning crotch pain is usually differentiated from other pelvic sensations by:

-The speed at which it comes and goes.

– It is usually low in the vagina or pelvic region. (Because our vaginas haven’t been through enough)

-The “lightning bolt” sensations. (brass knuckles to the crotch)

Sciatica during pregnancy is also a “shooting pain” sensation caused by pressure on nerve endings by your growing uterus. The sciatic nerve travels from the lower back, past the hips and butt, and down each leg to the toes. In sciatica this nerve is stimulated, causing pain and tingling in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and down the legs. But sciatica will never feel like a lightning bolt just hit your vagina.

Round ligament pain is common in the second and third trimester of pregnancy and is characterized by abdominal discomfort, pulling sensations, and sometimes sharp, shooting pains. These sensations may be experienced in the abdomen, hips, or groin area. 

Everyone experiences round ligament pain differently and sometimes is confused with lightning crotch.

Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Symptoms you may experience with round ligament pain:

-A pulling sensation down your sides and groin

-Brief, shooting pains around your stomach

-Stabbing pain on the right side of your pelvis

-Slight pain on the left side or both sides of your abdomen

-Increased pain when you change positions suddenly, or when you cough, laugh or sneeze

If you do feel round ligament pain, remember it’s a normal part of pregnancy and will quickly go away. Most round ligament pain lasts for a few seconds and usually stops as soon as you change positions, stop the activity you’re doing, or get up from sitting or lying down. 

STOP! I don’t want lightning crotch!

Well, this is the part I hate writing…It just kinda comes with the whole pregnancy gig. There isn’t much of anything you can do to prevent it and it is usually over so fast that there isn’t much you can do in the moment that it’s happening. There are some suggestions for improving your flexibility which may help prevent it though.

Try this to help prevent it

Continuing to move during pregnancy keeps your joints flexible and decreases the chance of excess weight gain, which can put pressure on your entire body, including your pelvis.


Although remaining active is helpful, your body also needs extra rest in pregnancy. Standing upright for long periods of time increases downward pelvic pressure; consider staying off your feet more frequently if your lightning crotch or pelvic discomfort gets worse. In fact, tell your partner I said so.

Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Remember You Are Pregnant With Multiples

A Norwegian study found that women who did a lot of twisting, bending, and lifting during pregnancy had increased rates of pelvic pain. Take note of the different ways you move your body throughout your day or at your job. Change and decrease activities that may strain your abdominal area or put excess pressure on your pelvic region.

Meeee time

If there were ever a time to pamper yourself being pregnant with multiples is it! Make sure you go to a certified massage therapist that is trained in handling pregnancies preferably twin and higher-order pregnancies.

Chiropractor – Give it a crack

Gentle prenatal adjustments can help those who experience pelvic or abdominal discomfort. Again, just make sure to see a chiropractor who is experienced in pregnancy and understands your areas of pain.

Lightning Crotch: What Causes it and What to do About it?

Go for a Swim (Buy a pool?)

The buoyancy of water can really take the pressure off during pregnancy. Give it a try. I know this one works, first hand. I lived in water during my summer twin pregnancy. Walking on land was not a thing I wanted to do in July.

Wear a Pregnancy Support Belt

The downward pressure of your growing bump can take a toll on everything and contribute to conditions like lightning crotch. A pregnancy support brace or belt helps lift the belly, reducing some of that pressure. We love the It’s You Babe Best Cradle. The BEST Cradle is ideal for the mom having twins, triplets, or quads and for the mom needing support early in her pregnancy. 

Luckily, this will all end the day you give birth to your beautiful babies. Lightning crotch will soon all be forgotten and you will be wondering how many days it’s been since you’ve brushed your hair. 

laura birks headshotLaura Birks is a freelance writer and essayist. She lives in New Jersey with her twin boys, a dog, a couple of cats, and a husband. When she’s not doling out medicine or cleaning up vomit, she is writing. Her house is in a constant state of disarray and the laundry is never put away. She likes to pretend she is superwoman but the truth is, she is a mere mortal with a messy house. Find her on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest

twin pregnancy timeline week by week

If you just heard that second heartbeat for the first time, or you know it’s been two for a while, you need to read our twin pregnancy week by week timeline to help you learn what happens week by week with twins. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our expecting twins classes and twin parent coaching services.

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