introduction

In medicine, uterine ligaments are the structures made of connective tissue that fix the uterus in its anatomical position. These include the round uterine ligament (ligamentum teres uteri) and the wide uterine ligament (ligamentum latum uteri). These ligaments can cause discomfort, especially during pregnancy, if they are stretched by the growing child and the resulting enlarged uterus. In general, complaints in this area are rather unspecific and can point to many different causes. Persistent complaints should therefore be clarified by a doctor.

Read more on this topic: Abdominal pain in pregnancy

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root cause

The most common cause of tension in the uterine ligaments is pregnancy. The expanding uterus causes pain in the ligaments of the ligaments. The pain usually only begins in the second trimester of pregnancy, as the baby only grows larger then. Before that, the uterine ligaments are not exposed to strong tensile forces. However, it is very different from woman to woman whether and when such pain sets in.

Abdominal pulling can otherwise have a variety of other causes that are not necessarily associated with the ligament of the mother. With such symptoms, menstrual cycle problems, ovarian cysts, ovarian inflammation, muscular complaints, ectopic pregnancies and masses of the internal genital organs should be considered. Diseases of other organs can also be considered, such as the onset of appendicitis or diverticulitis of the large intestine, in which the intestinal mucous membrane protrudes and becomes inflamed in these areas.

diagnosis

The diagnosis of pulling in the area of ​​the uterine ligaments can be made by a gynecologist. In pregnant women, pulling is a very typical symptom and, due to its harmless nature, usually does not require any further clarification.

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If there are other symptoms, for example very severe and worsening pain, bleeding, fever or other worrying signs, further clarification should urgently be carried out in order to rule out serious complications of the pregnancy.

The same applies to non-pregnant women with abdominal pulling. If there is no explanation for the complaints, a medical clarification is recommended. A physical examination and, for example, an ultrasound image of the abdomen can usually quickly rule out serious illnesses.

Concomitant symptoms

Most of the time, the mother ligaments are pulled during pregnancy. Concomitant symptoms can then be general malaise, (morning) nausea and faster exhaustion. Headaches can also occur. However, the symptoms need not be associated with other symptoms.

If there is no pregnancy and abdominal pain still occurs, other causes must be ruled out. If accompanying symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, burning sensation when urinating or vaginal bleeding occur, a doctor should be examined. For example, it could be a urogenital infection, gastrointestinal infection, appendicitis, diverticulitis or an ectopic pregnancy. Even if the symptoms mostly have harmless causes, a potentially serious illness must not be ignored, especially if the symptoms persist or the intensity of the symptoms increases.

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Read more on this topic: Pain in the abdomen

Pull right

A pulling of the mother ligament only on the right side can definitely occur during pregnancy. Depending on the body position in which the pregnant woman is and how the child is positioned in the uterus, different tensile forces are exerted on the ligamentous apparatus of the uterus. In principle, however, other causes of the symptoms should also be considered, especially if the pain persists without an existing pregnancy and / or persists.

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In the case of right-sided pelvic complaints, important differential diagnoses are, for example, appendicitis (appendicitis), (twisted) ovarian cysts, an ectopic pregnancy or an inguinal hernia. In particular, if there are other symptoms, such as fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills or other symptoms, a doctor should be examined.

Read more about these topics: Symptoms of appendicitis and symptoms of an inguinal hernia

Drag left

The mother bands can also only pull on the left side. Particularly during pregnancy - as with complaints on the right side - certain body positions of the pregnant woman or a special positioning or kicking of the child in the uterus can lead to a particular stretching of the left-sided ligament structures, which means that pain only occurs there.

Here, too, however, if there is pain on the left side of the lower abdomen, other causes of the symptoms can also be considered, which require medical clarification, especially in the case of persistent and severe pain or an occurrence outside of pregnancy. For example, important differential diagnoses of left lower abdominal pain are diverticulitis (inflammation of protuberances in the intestinal mucosa), ovarian cysts, an ectopic pregnancy, an infection in the urogenital region or an inguinal hernia. If there are additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, burning sensation when urinating or vaginal bleeding, a doctor should be consulted.

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Pulling the mother ligaments without pregnancy

Outside of pregnancy, the uterine ligaments usually do not cause any discomfort, as no great tensile forces are exerted on them, as is the case, for example, during pregnancy. The complaints, which are interpreted by the affected woman as a pulling in the mother's ligaments, usually have other causes.

Most often these are symptoms caused by the female cycle. Some women feel a pulling in their abdomen during ovulation (so-called middle pain), other women have abdominal discomfort before or during their period.

If none of these circumstances apply, other causes of the pain can also be considered.For example, symptoms caused by ovarian cysts, an ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, diverticulitis (inflammation of protrusions in the lining of the large intestine), cystitis, an inguinal hernia or an inflammation of the genital organs. Simple tension in the pelvic floor area or lower back can also cause pain in the abdomen, which can be confused with pulling the uterine ligaments. If in doubt, a doctor should be clarified if the symptoms persist. This is especially true if there are other symptoms in addition to the abdominal pain or if these become more intense.

Pulling the mother ligaments during pregnancy

Tensioning of the uterine ligaments occurs relatively frequently during pregnancy and is caused by the increasing growth of the child as the uterus expands. These changes cause increasing tensile forces to be exerted on the ligamentous apparatus that fixes the uterus in place. This can lead to pulling or stabbing pains on both sides, which can radiate into the groin region and the pubic area.

Lower back pain can also occur. The complaints often occur in connection with special stresses, for example when coughing or sneezing or changing positions, for example when getting up or sitting down. In these situations, the pressure in the abdomen increases and additional tension is exerted on the mother ligaments, which can then be painful. However, usually the pain goes as quickly as it came. Prolonged pulling can usually be relieved by lying comfortably on your back and applying heat locally using a hot water bottle.

Read more on the topic: Pain in the mother ligaments

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When do the complaints start?

A pulling of the uterine ligaments during pregnancy is most often noticeable from the second trimester of pregnancy, as the uterus is very stretched during this time and the child increasingly takes up space in the female body. From around the 5th week of pregnancy, however, complaints can arise from tension on the mother's ligaments. This is different for every woman and depends, among other things, on the respective anatomy.

Read more on this topic: Abdominal pain during pregnancy

At the beginning of a pregnancy, it is rather unlikely that any discomfort is caused by the mother's ligaments, as there are no great tensile forces acting on the ligamentous apparatus at this point. Due to local changes such as the nesting of the egg and the hormonal reversal, abdominal complaints can also occur there, but these then have other causes. Between the 17th and 24th week of pregnancy, the greatest discomfort caused by tensile forces on the uterine ligaments can generally be expected. At later times in pregnancy, the symptoms are observed less frequently again, as the uterus and its ligaments have then stretched sufficiently and even loosen up towards the end of the pregnancy in order to initiate the birth of the child and to guide him out of the pelvis facilitate.

Duration of complaints

How long a pulling in the mother ligament can last varies greatly from person to person and depends primarily on the cause of the symptoms.

Tension in the mother's ligaments occurs most frequently during pregnancy and usually only occurs there briefly at alternating intervals. Basically, the pain mainly occurs during the period in which the uterus is stretched the most and thus increased tensile forces are exerted on the ligament structures. Affected pregnant women often complain of such complaints up to the beginning or the middle of the last trimester of pregnancy. In the last part of pregnancy, the symptoms are less frequent, as the uterus has reached its maximum size and the ligamentous structures tend to loosen up in order to prepare for the approaching birth and to make it easier for the child to pass through the female pelvis.

When the pulling occurs in the mother ligaments, it is usually described as a sharp, short pain that pulls into the groin region on both sides. However, as a result of a comfortable body position and, for example, local application of heat, the pain usually does not last long.

Treatment / therapy

Pulling in the area of ​​the mother ligaments generally does not require any therapy. If the symptoms occur during pregnancy, it usually helps if the woman concerned gets into a comfortable lying position. A hot water bottle on the lower abdomen can also help alleviate the symptoms. Usually the pulling subsides again within a short time.

If the pain is very severe, a doctor should be consulted to clarify the cause. In consultation with the doctor, painkillers may then be taken if necessary. The same applies to pulling the uterine ligaments outside of pregnancy, for example during the menstrual period. The symptoms should be alleviated by simple pain relievers and the application of local heat.

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Read more on this topic: Period pain - what to do?

Can you locate the mother ligaments yourself?

The exact localization of the uterine ligaments can be difficult, as the symptoms that arise in this area are rather diffuse. As a rule, the pain is described as stabbing and pulling towards the groin and pubic region on both sides. The most appropriate localization of the uterine ligaments is accordingly something within the groin, in the direction of the body midline. A very precise localization that you can determine yourself from the outside is difficult, however.

Further information on the location and anatomy of the uterine ligaments can be found here: Mother bands

Indications of early pregnancy

Pulling the mother's ligaments as an indication of an existing early pregnancy is rather untypical. Although pulling in the abdomen can certainly occur in early pregnancy, it does not originate in the mother's ligaments, but rather is based on local processes in the area of ​​the uterus. For example, period-like pain can occur during the implantation of the egg. The mucous membrane of the uterus also loosens in early pregnancy and the hormonal reversal affects the structures of the small pelvis, so that abdominal pulling can certainly occur in some women.

Read more on this topic: Pain in early pregnancy

However, the uterine ligaments are not yet exposed to any particular tensile forces at this early stage, as the uterus has not yet increased in size. Correspondingly, your ligamentous apparatus is not being used any more at this point. Due to the loosening of the connective tissue and finally also the uterine ligaments, well-founded complaints are to be expected there from the 5th week of pregnancy at the earliest - typically even later.


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