Cervical Pain During Pregnancy Third Trimester: 3 Important Causes! 

1 in 5 women is likely to bear pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and some experience abdominal, back and neck pain too! Once you reach the final months of pregnancy, your body starts preparing for the delivery by making changes to the cervix. 

So, why are you experiencing cervical pain during pregnancy third trimester? 

Well, the cervix is the gateway that connects the uterus and vagina, maintains lubrication, protects the uterus, and dilates during delivery. The cervical pain in the third trimester is caused due to the initiation of dilation for normal delivery.  

In this article, you’ll learn about cervical pain and also what cervical pain feels like when you’re pregnant. So, read on! 

What Causes Cervix Pain During Pregnancy?

The cervix is the gateway between the uterus and vagina that not only guards the uterus against foreign particles but also produces mucus and dilates during the delivery of the child. Hence, pain in the cervix during pregnancy ain’t a rare thing to happen, almost every woman experiences that. 

During the third trimester, the foremost reason for cervical pain is the initiation of dilation. Sometimes you may also experience shooting pain or pins and needles sensation in the pelvic region which is often mistaken for a sign of labor pain but is actually a lightning crotch. The main reason for such pain is the baby’s increasing size which compresses the nerves of the uterus. 

Also, there is a condition known as, “Incompetent cervix” in which the cervix is weak to an extent that it causes an early dilation accompanied by mild discomfort leading to premature delivery. 

Sharp Pains In Cervix: Sign of Labour?

Your body initiates labor when it is ready to deliver the baby. These are sharp pains that almost all women experience for hours before they deliver the child. If you’re here to say, “I’m 30 weeks pregnant and my vagina hurts,” then it might be because you’re in the third trimester. 

cervix-pain

Before the labor contractions actually begin, your cervix starts preparing for normal delivery. This is the latent phase of labor when the cervix dilates up to 4 cm so that it could fit in the baby flexibly. This stretching makes you feel severe pain in the vagina. 

The muscular contractions during labor further trigger the cervix to soften, become thin, and dilate for easy delivery. Hence, labor contractions are somewhat similar to menstrual cramps but are more intense sometimes. 

Usually, the labor is initiated as the latent phase during which the cervix softens and dilates. When the labor contractions begin, you might feel them similar to that of menstrual cramps; however, they become more and more intense gradually. 

The Third Trimester or Pain Trimester? 

A pregnancy comprises three trimesters, first, second, and third. The last trimester is quite crucial and much more difficult for the mother as the baby rapidly increases in size and occupies more space. Hence, the mother becomes uncomfortable and annoying as time passes by. 

During the first two trimesters, the internal organs develop whereas weight greatly increases in the third trimester. These are the final months when your body is preparing itself for safe delivery. Hence, the third trimester comes up with great expectations, excitement, sleepless nights, discomfort, and pain.  

Right Side Pain During Pregnancy Third Trimester 

Pregnant women often experience sharp or dull pain in the right side, particularly during the third trimester which can be caused due to multiple reasons. The round ligament covers your uterus, when the baby gains weight, this ligament stretches and might get irritated causing pain. Such type of pain can go away with changing position. 

right-side-pain-during-pregnancy

Moreover, pain can also be caused due to muscle strain because an increase in weight causes the stretching of muscles. Other reasons are digestive problems such as flatulence and constipation

Sometimes you might suffer from contractions in your final trimester which are similar to that of menstrual cramps and are often mistaken as a sign of labor. These are Braxton-Hick’s contractions which begin in the second trimester and extend up in the third trimester.

Back Pain During Pregnancy 3rd Trimester

Is it normal to have back pain during pregnancy in the third trimester? Well, during pregnancy, your bones and muscles have to bear some extra load on the fetus. Due to an increase in weight, pregnant females often experience a change in their posture that often leads to back and hip pain. 

back-pain-during-pregnancy

On the other hand, some of them can also encounter sciatica. This is usually caused by the oversized uterus’s suppression of the sciatic nerve. However, if the pain is persistent and extends for a  longer duration, then it’s better to consult your doctor. 

Upper Stomach Pain During Pregnancy 3rd Trimester

Constipation is quite common among pregnant women which can often give rise to pain in the upper stomach during pregnancy. It can also be accompanied by nausea and bloating. Moreover, progesterone is a hormone that can trigger acid reflux and make you suffer from stomach ache and heartburn. 

Even Braxton-Hicks contractions which are often confused with labor can cause stomach pain. The increasing weight can often stretch the muscles to an extent that they cause pain. However, pain in the right abdominal region can be a sign of appendicitis that must be immediately addressed. 

Cervical Pain During Pregnancy Third Trimester

Sharp pelvic pain during pregnancy in the third trimester can sometimes be problematic for you! As there is a sudden boost in the growth of the fetus during the last months of pregnancy, the ligaments and muscles of the pelvic region might get over-stretched causing a sharp pain in the pelvic region

cervical-pain-during-pregnancy

Another probable reason for cervical pain is the dilation of the cervix which is a gateway between your uterus and vagina. This happens because, in the third trimester, your body has to prepare it for normal delivery which is why the cervix dilates and causes shooting pain.   

Neck Pain in Pregnancy Third Trimester

Neck pain during pregnancy might not steal the limelight as all other pains do but some females do experience them! A bad sleeping position is more likely to make your neck stiff and cause severe pain. 

neck-pain-in-pregnancy

On the contrary, an increase in body weight, poor posture, working on a laptop, or using a  phone for longer durations can also trigger neck pain. 

Final Verdict

Even if your pregnancy goes smoothly throughout the three trimesters, you still have to go through labor contractions. Usually, the opening of the cervical canal initiates before these contractions start and cause pain.

Cervical pain during pregnancy in the third trimester is caused because of the dilation taking place that stretches the walls of the cervix so that the baby’s head could fit in easily. All in all, these pains are normal and this dilation begins before labor actually starts. 

Another cause of pain in the pelvic region is an increase in the baby’s weight which puts a lot of pressure on the muscles and ligaments. Such types of pain are pretty normal in the third trimester; however, long-lasting and persistent pains shouldn’t be ignored! 

FAQs

Let’s check out some of the frequently asked questions.

Why Do I Feel a Sharp Pain in My Cervix While Pregnant?

Cervix is the midway between the uterus and vagina which remains closed usually but starts opening in the third trimester of pregnancy. This dilation of the cervix comes up with shooting and sharp pains. Hence, the doctors start cervical examination after the 36th week of pregnancy to observe cervical dilation. 

Where Do You Feel Cervical Pain During Pregnancy?

Cervix is the middle part of the reproductive tract that opens into the vagina. Pain in the cervix is usually felt in the pelvic region and is more specified in the vagina. It’s like shooting or sharp pain which is usually because of the dilation taking place for normal delivery.   

Can Baby Push on Cervix Cause Pain?

During the end of the third trimester, the baby starts moving towards the lower end of the uterus for delivery. In this case, compression of nerves can cause severe pain in the pelvic region and even in the back of your legs. 

What Does It Feel Like When Your Cervix Is Dilated in the Third Trimester?

There isn’t any proper sign for the initiation of cervical dilation; hence, you might feel nothing when the process begins. However, pain starts to develop and in the meanwhile, labor contractions also begin which is when you realize that cervical dilation is taking place.

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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