What Causes Pregnancy Pain on the Right Side?

pregnancy pain on right side
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Pregnancy pain on the right side can be a common and concerning symptom for pregnant women. It can be caused by a range of issues, such as hormonal changes, abdominal stretching, or an underlying medical condition. This article will discuss the potential causes and treatments of pregnancy pain on the right side.

Common Causes of Right Side Pain During Pregnancy

Round Ligament Pain

Round ligament pain is one of the most common causes of right-sided abdominal pain during pregnancy. It is caused by the stretching of the round ligaments that support your uterus, which become more flexible as your baby grows. This type of pain is usually brief and localized, but can be sharp and affect both sides of your abdomen. Treatment involves resting or changing positions to reduce strain on the ligament.

To manage round ligament pain, it helps to know what type of pain to expect. It usually begins as a tugging or pulling sensation on the sides of your abdomen, and can last for seconds or minutes. You may also experience discomfort in the form of lower backache or hip twinges. You should take care not to lean too far forward when standing or sit in a slouched position for long periods of time, since these can aggravate the discomfort.

Taking gentle walks may help to ease the discomfort, as well as to help you maintain good posture. Working with a physical therapist or taking prenatal yoga classes can also help your body adapt to the changes of pregnancy, and provide specific exercises that are safe and valuable for pregnant women. It is also important to practice good sleeping habits, work on strengthening core muscles, stay hydrated and eat nutrient-rich foods.

Braxton-Hicks contractions

Commonly referred to as false labor, Braxton-Hicks contractions tend to arise in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Most pregnant women have probably heard of Braxton-Hicks contractions, the tightening and relaxing of the abdomen during pregnancy. They are a normal part of pregnancy and generally are uncomfortable rather than painful – feeling like mild menstrual cramps or occasional pregnancy pain on the right side of your belly.

While they can be confusing because they feel similar to labor pains, they usually come and go and don’t get longer and more intense over time like labor contractions do when it’s time for birth.

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). 

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is another possible cause of right-sided abdominal pain during pregnancy. PGP is caused by a combination of hormonal, joint and postural changes that occur in anticipation of childbirth. The pain tends to be localized around the lower abdomen or pelvis and can often radiate to the buttocks, groin and thigh. Common treatments for PGP include pelvic girdle belts and strengthening exercises.

PGP can be exacerbated by certain activities like standing on one foot or changing position quickly. During pregnancy, it is important to get adequate rest and practice good posture. Other tips include lying sideways with a pillow between the legs instead of directly on the back and sitting in chairs with back support. A qualified medical professional will be able to provide proper diagnosis and treatment of PGP and answer any questions that might arise.

PGP is one of the most common causes of pain in the lower abdomen or back during pregnancy. It often occurs on the right side and may radiate around to the left or into other areas such as the buttocks, hips, groin and legs. This type of pain can be caused by joint dysfunction, instability, muscle spasm or even ligament laxity due to hormonal changes in pregnancy.


Pregnancy involves a host of different physical and emotional changes, one of which is constipation. It may feel uncomfortable, especially when the pregnancy pain on the right side sets in. Research shows that up to 38% of pregnant women experience constipation during pregnancy, due in part to iron from prenatal vitamins.

To alleviate it, try introducing more bran, whole grain or fiber supplements into your diet, drinking more fluids each day and exercising regularly to keep things moving along. If over-the-counter products like Metamucil aren’t helping enough, make sure you speak to your healthcare provider before taking any laxatives or stool softeners.

Muscular Backache

Another possible cause of right-sided abdominal pain during pregnancy is muscular backache. Expectant mothers experience increased levels of hormones that allow the ligaments in the body to relax and become more flexible. This can lead to an increased likelihood that muscles in the lower back become strained or weak and cause localized pain. Applying heat to the area, using relaxation techniques and stretching may help alleviate muscular backache.

While a pregnant woman should always mention localized pain to her doctor, generally the cause of muscular backache or sciatica will resolve on its own without any medical intervention. For women suffering from ongoing pain or severe discomfort, there are forms of physical therapy and prescription medications available with few risks to mother or baby during pregnancy. Consulting a doctor is advisable for persistent back pain as some underlying conditions such as kidney stones may require specific treatments.

Pregnant women can experience muscular backache or sciatica due to the weight and stress created by the pregnancy. Extra ligament support and pressure on nerves can lead to these types of pains particularly. While the bulk of discomfort is usually felt in the lower back, some women may feel pain radiating along the lumbar spine and extending down the right side of either leg. Treatment for this type of pain should include rest, stretching exercises, judicious use of a heating pad or warm bath, over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) as advised by your doctor, and massage.

It’s important to note that any time pain persists in pregnancy, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider. If the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, or other troubling features; make sure to mention that to your doctor as well. Pregnancy can cause a variety of aches and pains as the baby grows but treating any pain at an early stage can reduce its severity and duration. Listen to your body and contact your healthcare provider if any type of discomfort persists or worsens for more than a few days.


Having pregnancy sex can feel different as pregnancy progresses, but it’s generally safe to continue doing the deed. Some of us may experience some pregnancy-related cramping while or after sex. It’s important to pay attention to these changes and adjust accordingly – experiment with positions that are more comfortable for you during pregnancy, such as lying on your side or using a pregnancy pillow for support.

It can be concerning if you have sharp pain on one side of your stomach during sex – this could indicate pregnancy pain on your right side, which should be checked out by your doctor just in case. Any post-sex cramping you feel should pass with resting, but again, keep an eye on any changes and chat with a medical professional if there is a cause for concern.

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Gas and bloating

Pregnancy can be uncomfortable at the best of times, and it can feel even worse when pregnancy pain on your right side starts to show up as gas, bloating, and cramping. This is mostly due to the hormone progesterone relaxing your muscles and intestines, although certain foods such as beans, cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, and fried foods can also cause extra gas. The good news is that pregnancy pain usually goes away pretty quickly once diet changes are made or after the baby is born.


The appendix is a tiny organ located around the right side of the abdomen and looks like a small pouch. While its function isn’t entirely understood, when it becomes infected or inflamed – due to conditions such as pregnancy pain on the right side – it can result in appendicitis. The symptoms associated with it are distinct: sharp pain that begins in the belly button area and migrates to the lower right side, coupled with fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It’s best to seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms arise in order to prevent further complications.

Despite being an infrequent diagnosis, acute appendicitis is the most usual nonobstetric condition requiring surgery among expecting moms. Reports demonstrate that this medical emergency affects 1 in 800 to 1 in 1,500 pregnancies.

If you suspect appendicitis during pregnancy, urgent medical attention must be sought right away. Through an ultrasound or MRI scan, your clinical team can accurately determine if antibiotics or surgery is the most suitable course of action.


Preeclampsia often develops towards the later stages of pregnancy, and it can be extremely dangerous for both the woman and her developing baby if left untreated. It often presents as pregnancy pain on the right side, and in severe cases can lead to early delivery. Seeking medical help as soon as any symptoms appear is strongly advised in order to keep both mother and child safe from the potentially life-threatening effects of preeclampsia.

Pregnancy can sometimes be painful, and it’s important that doctors recognize any early signs of complications during antenatal check-ups. Problems like high blood pressure, protein in the urine, a swollen face and hands or ankles, nausea with or without vomitting, pregnancy pain on right side near the ribcage, blurry vision or a severe headache with no response to medication and difficulty breathing should be taken very seriously. Most of the time these issues are detected early on by doctors, who then take appropriate steps to ensure the health of both mum and baby.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that affects over 1 in 25 pregnancies in the United States, yet it can often have no symptoms at all. If a pregnancy is thought to include the condition, an urgent medical assessment is always recommended. Despite the risk of pregnancy pain on the right side– a common symptom of preeclampsia — many cases are relieved shortly after giving birth and symptoms disappear within days. Preeclampsia requires immediate attention and it’s important to be aware of its telltale signs.

Urinary infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are unfortunately very common in pregnancy, and can cause pain and discomfort while urinating. Women may also experience soreness or even sharp pains in their lower abdomen which could be as a result of a UTI.

It’s crucial to seek treatment right away if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms during pregnancy. Antibiotics can help clear up the infection, so it’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully.

Take note that many pregnancy-related aches can occur on the right side – if you experience such pains, don’t immediately assume it’s a urinary infection, and get the appropriate medical advice first.

When to see a doctor

If you are pregnant and are experiencing abdominal pain, it is important to pay attention to any other accompanying symptoms. Pain in pregnancy, particularly on the right side of your abdomen, can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or placenta previa. Look out for signs such as cramping, vaginal bleeding, and pain in the lower abdomen while standing or walking. It’s important to see a doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur. While pregnancy-related abdominal pain is usually nothing serious, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If a woman experiences abdominal pain with any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

Vaginal bleeding

Vaginal bleeding may be an early sign of pregnancy loss, so if you’re experiencing cramping pain on both sides of your lower abdomen as well as some bleeding, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your doctor. Approximately 10-15% of known pregnancies end this way, and pregnancy loss is most common in the first trimester. Don’t wait too long to contact a healthcare professional, as early diagnosis and timely treatment can often help improve the outcome.


Pregnancy can be a stressful time in a woman’s life – especially if they start to feel pregnancy pain on one side and experience brown watery discharge or bleeding. This could be indicative of an ectopic pregnancy, which is always fatal for pregnancies. Luckily, medical attention can prevent pregnancy loss and health complications associated with an ectopic pregnancy. Women who think they may have an ectopic pregnancy should not wait, but seek medical help as soon as possible to receive the care that they need.


While morning sickness is an expected part of pregnancy, extreme Most pregnancy-related vomiting is just the body’s way of dealing with morning sickness, but if you’re experiencing intense nausea as well as pain in your right side, it could be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum. This serious pregnancy condition needs to be treated in a hospital setting and typically requires vomiting medication, steroids and other treatments. Unfortunately, regular vomiting can lead to dehydration and other issues that need to be prevented or addressed promptly. So keep an eye out for the pregnancy pain on your right side and seek medical help for any extreme symptoms.

Final Thoughts

During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to experience some pain on the right side of your abdomen. While this may be concerning for some moms-to-be, generally it’s nothing serious; just a harmless result of all the changes our pregnancy bodies go through but it can be something more serious (such as appendicitis, miscarriage, or something like ovarian cyst or an ovary germ cell tumor). If you do happen to experience it alongside other symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, discharge, severe headaches, or any other worrisome symptom, it’s important to reach out for medical advice and get your pregnancy checked out by healthcare professionals. Don’t be afraid to seek attention if something doesn’t seem right!

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