Are you pregnant and experiencing hip pain? You’re not alone. Many women experience hip pain in the early stages of pregnancy. While the cause of hip pain during pregnancy is not entirely known, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of hip pain during pregnancy and offer some tips for how to alleviate the discomfort. We hope that you find this information helpful!
But first, how do I know all of this?
Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped thousands of women cope with the stresses and strains on their body during their pregnancy. I’m excited to help you out with this problem!
Grab my guide to eating healthy during pregnancy:
Before we get started though, if your hip pain is sharp and super painful, I would encourage you to call your health provider. This pain may be abdominal pain that extends into your hip. It is important that you have it checked out if it’s very painful. It could be other things like an appendicitis, or an ectopic pregnancy.
If your pain is more like an ache that comes and goes, let’s chat about it.
BTW if you want to know GENERAL stuff on hip pain during pregnancy << I have a post on that too. 🙂
What are the common early pregnancy symptoms
Nausea (morning sickness), fatigue, mood swings, and breast tenderness (or breast changes) and food aversions are some of the most common early signs of pregnancy in pregnant women. However, every woman is different and may experience different symptoms in the early stages. I have a post on the early signs of pregnancy on my sister site.
Hip pain is a common symptom in early pregnancy. However, it’s not seen in as many people as the other signs I mentioned.
This is an interesting study on the early signs of pregnancy that people experience.
Hey, don’t forget to write down all this stuff. Someday this baby will wonder what happened during your pregnancy — and this will help you keep track of your memories, manage all the things and stay on top of your medical stuff too!
How can I tell if hip pain is related to my pregnancy?
If you’re experiencing hip pain in early pregnancy or later in the first trimester, it may not be the result of pregnancy.
Hip pain should not be a “pregnancy test”. Although I do have an online pregnancy test, the reality is that you need to take a pregnancy test after the day you would’ve missed period. Most often tests won’t detect a pregnancy until after the date you would’ve had a missed period.
What causes hip pain during pregnancy in pregnant women?
There are a few potential causes of hip pain during pregnancy.
One possibility is that the pain is due to the weight of your growing uterus putting pressure on your hips. These physical changes are a LOT for your body to handle.
Another possibility is hormonal changes. Your body releases a hormone called Relaxin, which loosens the muscles, connective tissues and joints in preparation for childbirth, is causing the pain.
Some women feel some pain in their fallopian tube when they ovulate during their menstrual cycle, which could be described as “hip pain” — so if you’re not quite yet pregnant, that could be it.
Some women also describe when the fetus implants in your uterus as hip pain. That may (or may not) be accompanied by some implantation bleeding.
If you have had a positive pregnancy test and are experiencing a lot of SHARP, severe pain pain, it is also possible that it is an ectopic pregnancy. You should call your provider right away. This could be a medical emergency.
Some women are just affected by the increased blood flow to that area. As you are growing a placenta, plus a growing baby your pelvic area’s blood flow changes a lot (not to mention if you’ve got weight gain overall). It can really affect your pelvic floor, your sacroiliac joints and can cause hip pain. So omen also describe it as a “pelvic fullness”.
Your uterus is attached to your body by “round ligaments” and sometimes as those stretch as your uterus grows they can be very painful. Many women find round ligament pain to be the worst when they cough, sneeze or get up too quickly.
Some people might find diastasis recti pain presenting more towards their hip.
Lastly, it’s possible that you have a condition like symphysis pubis dysfunction, which is a condition that affects the joints in the pelvis. I talk about that in my post on pelvic pain at 38 weeks so you can’t walk.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is the hip pain on the outside of your hip where your femur connects into your pelvis
- Is the hip pain in the middle of your pelvis, up from your urethra (the hole your pee from
- Is the hip pain in your tailbone area?
- Is it just generalized all over your pelvis — often called pelvic girdle pain?
All of these can be described as “hip” pains, so it is important that we are specific about which area you are experiencing pain.
If the pain is on the outside of your pelvis it could be a few things:
- An injury entirely not related to pregnancy
- Your pelvis and hips are relaxing due to the hormones of pregnancy, and as they shift and adjust they hurt
- Your growing uterus puts pressure on this area
- Muscles and connective tissue tightening in this area due to changes in activity that need to be used/stretched.
If the pain is in the center of your pelvis this is normally due to that hormone relaxin. Many people call that pain “electrical” although there can also be an ache in the muscles and ligaments that help support that area as it relaxes to help baby descend into the birth canal. I have a post on upper inner thigh pain in pregnancy that explains more.
If the pain is in your tailbone it can also be from your pelvis and that hormone relaxin. It could also be from an injury.
Much of this is also accompanied by lower back pain as your body adjusts to the growing uterus and your center of gravity changing day by day.
What should you do if you think you’re pregnant and have hip pain
If you think you may be pregnant and are experiencing hip pain, the best thing to do is to check with your doctor. They will be able to confirm whether or not you are pregnant and rule out any other potential causes of your pain.
Are there any treatments for hip pain during pregnancy
There are a few things you can do to help relieve hip pain during pregnancy. First, try to avoid any activities that aggravate the pain.
Some women find a pregnancy belt to be helpful. You wear this on your lower abdomen to help support your pelvis and hips as you go about your daily life. Check with your provider first before using one.
Some people find a hot water bottle or a microwaveable heating pack can help with it. This article explains heating pads during pregnancy.
Gentle exercise can help. The hip pain may be worsened by other muscles getting tight, and as you stretch those it may help it (this can help with leg cramps too if you experience those). You could check into a local prenatal yoga class (or find some videos on youtube).
You could also ask your provider about any medication or a medical treatment they could give you or recommend to help with the condition.
Also, staying positive can help — grab my pregnancy affirmations:
Will the pain go away during my pregnancy?
It’s possible that the pain will go away as your pregnancy progresses. However, if the pain is severe or persists, it’s best to check with your doctor.
Early on in the first trimester of pregnancy, everything is shifting and adjusting. Your muscles and joints are really just getting used to all of that. Those first weeks of pregnancy are rough on your body.
Mid pregnancy, in the second trimester, your body has started to adjust to all those pregnancy hormones. Most people find this to be a sweet spot of pregnancy, although some still experience these pains.
Your third trimester brings on more and more changes to your body as baby starts to grow. Your sciatic nerve may also get in on the action and be causing pain down your legs as well.
I also find that it can help to note when things are better or worse in some type of planner — might help you notice a pattern.
Will the pain go away after delivery
For most women, the pain will go away after delivery.
Once the placenta is delivered your hormone levels will start their journey back to normal. However, some women may experience chronic hip pain after pregnancy. If you’re still experiencing pain after delivery, it’s best to check with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
Hip and pelvic pain during pregnancy is fairly common. While the exact cause is unknown, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain. If you’re experiencing hip pain, be sure to check with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
Can hip pain be a sign of something else
Hip pain can be caused by a number of things, including pregnancy, arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. If you’re experiencing hip pain, it’s best to check with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
When should you see a doctor about hip pain
If you’re experiencing hip pain, it’s best to check with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes. They will be able to confirm whether or not the pain is related to pregnancy and offer treatment options.
If the pain is sharp, is continuous or unbearable I would call your provider right away or go into an Urgent Care to be checked out. It could be a real problem.
It is never too early to pick out a prenatal class from someone you can trust. The Online Prenatal Class for Couples has amazing reviews and guarantees to get you prepared for birth. I would love to see you inside!
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice. She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.