Vaginal pain at 37 weeks pregnant happens when a sudden, sharp pain in the vagina is like a “lightning crotch” and can feel like a bolt or shock wave from the inside. This pain can shoot up in your vagina, pelvic area, or rectum.
The pain can vary drastically from woman to woman. It tends to occur suddenly, leaving you immobile for a short while. But, it goes away as quickly as it occurs and is usually considered harmless for you and the baby. Most expecting women do not experience this condition throughout their pregnancy. This symptom is mainly known to occur in the final few weeks of pregnancy, after 37 weeks gestation.
Why does Vaginal Pain at 37 Weeks Pregnant Occur?
There is no clear explanation for why this condition affects some women but not others, but some of the factors responsible for this pain include.
A fetus’ movement can compress a nerve, leading to bleeding in the vagina. The baby moving her limbs, kicking, or rolling over in the womb can trigger bolt-like sensations. Your pain may become more severe, with the baby’s weight adding more pressure and vigorous movements.
Round ligament pain
Round ligaments are two thick cord-like flexible structures supporting the uterus on both sides. These ligaments loosen up and turn thin in shape due to the added weight of the growing fetus. Specific movements can make these ligaments stretch quickly, leading to shooting pain around the lower belly and pelvis. Most women experience this sort of sudden pain in their third trimester.
Weak pelvic floor
The pelvic floor is a muscle mass supporting pelvis, vagina, uterus, urethra, and rectum. A growing baby can cause the weakening of the pelvic floor in pregnancy. The increasing pressure on the already weakened pelvic floor can cause vaginal pain, which can radiate to the hips and pelvis. Before getting pregnant, women tend to experience increased pain.
As you complete 37 weeks, you may notice that your belly appears below. This is because the baby descends into the lower uterus to prepare for the upcoming labor. The position of the baby and the pressure exerted on the cervix when she drops are responsible for causing vaginal pain. The baby’s head pushing on the cervix or nerve endings can cause sharp twinges of pain.
This condition is expected, temporarily, and harmless as long as it doesn’t trouble you with your regular activities and is not accompanied by any other unusual symptoms. You can always talk to your doctors if you have concerns as your term nears completion.