What You Need to Know About Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy

Lightning crotch pain is one of those really unpleasant pregnancy symptoms that you probably weren’t aware even existed before getting pregnant. 

It can be super uncomfortable and sudden, which can leave you feeling confused and wondering what on earth is going on in there. 

Is your baby taking tap dancing lessons? Is there a fireworks display going on that you weren’t invited to? Or is there something seriously wrong?

Even though they’re probably not your favourite part of pregnancy, lightning crotch pain is super common and something many mums-to-be experience. 

Here’s everything you need to know about lightning crotch pain during pregnancy. 

What is Lightning Crotch Pain? 

Lightning crotch pain is a collective name given to any sharp, sudden pains that occur in the vaginal area (including rectum and pelvis regions) during pregnancy. 

What Does Lightning Crotch Pain Feel Like? 

It can be pretty uncomfortable (as the name probably suggests!). Lighting crotch pain is often described as feeling like your crotch, well, is being hit with a lightning bolt! 

Similar to feeling like an electric shock, it’s usually considered a sudden sharp stabbing pain felt on the inside of your pelvic region. 

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What Causes Lightning Crotch Pain in Pregnancy? 

There are a few things that could be causing your lightning crotch pain. It could either be: 

Your Growing Baby 

You’re probably used to your level of discomfort growing alongside your baby. 

From carrying a big, heavy bump all day to needing to pee several times at night, it’s all linked to your baby growing bigger and stronger - yippee! 

A cause of lightning crotch pain could literally be your baby giving you a nice happy thump from inside in a particularly sensitive spot as they grow bigger and they have less room in your womb. 

Your Baby ‘Dropping’ 

It’s more common to suffer from lightning crotch pain towards the end of your pregnancy, and this often coincides with when your baby ‘drops’. 


This is the name given to when your baby is getting into the position they’ll be in for birth - usually head down, facing your back. 

However, sometimes this means your baby may start putting pressure on your cervix and the sensitive nerves surrounding the area, hence the lightning crotch pain. 

Your Body Getting Ready For Labour 

To give birth, your body goes through some amazing changes! For example, when it’s getting nearer the all-important birth date, your pubic bones actually start to separate and come apart before contractions even begin. This is caused by the hormone relaxin and can, in turn, cause lighting crotch pain (no relaxing for you, ironically!). 

What are the Symptoms of Lightning Crotch Pain? 

Lightning crotch pain can occur suddenly and take you off guard. Usually, the symptoms of it are: 

  • That it doesn’t last longer than a minute 
  • It’s a twinging, tightening pain (similar to those felt during your period)
  • You may feel pins and needles in your groin 
  • It occurs in the later stages of your third trimester 

How Long Does Lightning Crotch Pain Last? 

Even though it’s super unpleasant, lightning crotch pain shouldn’t last longer than a minute whilst it’s happening, and shouldn’t continue once you’ve given birth. It’s more likely to occur in the later stages of pregnancy, so worst case scenario you’ll probably only experience it for a couple of weeks. 

Does Everyone Get Lightning Crotch Pain in Pregnancy? 

Just like all pregnancy symptoms, not everyone will experience lightning crotch pain. 

However, due to the nature of your body prepping to deliver your baby, it’s more likely than not that you’ll experience some crotch discomfort in the days leading up to the birth. 

When Should I Be Worried about Lightning Crotch Pain? 

You’ll be happy to hear that it is completely normal to experience lightning crotch pain in pregnancy and usually isn’t anything to worry about! 

However, you should be worried about lightning crotch pain if: 

  • The pain lasts longer than a few seconds 
  • You suffer from vaginal bleeding, too
  • You’re feverish
  • You start feeling contractions 
  • The pain doesn’t go away

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms alongside your pain and you’re before 37 weeks, call your midwife or GP straight away. 

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Lightning Crotch Pain Vs. Contractions? 

If you’re in the very late stages of pregnancy and your lightning crotch pain: 

  • Comes at regular intervals 
  • Increases in intensity 
  • Feels like the pain lasts longer than before

Then this might be contractions rather than lightning crotch pain - congrats! 

As always, you know your body best. If there’s any doubt in your mind that what you’re experiencing isn’t normal or you want a second opinion, don’t hesitate to contact your midwife or GP. 

How to Stop Lightning Crotch Pain  

Unfortunately, lightning crotch pain is just one of those annoying pregnancy symptoms that you have to ride out most of the time - sorry! 

However, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the discomfort you’re feeling. 

  • Keeping active - Although uncomfortable at first, the movement can release the pain in your nerves (and perhaps help to shift your baby off of your cervix a little!)
  • Listening to your body, such as resting when you’re tired 
  • Changing positions regularly to get your baby moving off of your sensitive nerves 
  • Wear a belly support band - we love this one! 

Experiencing Lightning Crotch Pain in Pregnancy? 

If you’re currently suffering from lightning crotch pain during your pregnancy - we feel for you! It’s super uncomfortable (to put it mildly) and can be a major nuisance. 

Just think though, soon you’ll be holding your little bouncing bundle of joy in your arms and we promise you’ll be thinking, “Lightning who?”

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