What Causes Vaginal Pain at 37 Weeks Pregnant?


Sudden, sharp pain in the vagina is referred to as 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.

vaginal pain at 37 weeks pregnant

This pain is usually irregular and differs from women to women in terms of severity. It tends to occur all of a sudden and may leave 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 at all throughout their pregnancy. This symptom is mostly known to occur in the final few weeks of pregnancy, after 37 weeks gestation.

Why does lighting crotch occur?

There is no clear explanation on why this condition affects some women and not others, but some of the factors responsible for this pain include-

Fetal movement

The Movement of a fetus in your last trimester can compress a nerve which leads to stabbing pain 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 weight of the baby adding more pressure and with stronger 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. Certain movements can make these ligaments stretch quickly and this leads to shooting pain around the lower belly and pelvis. Most women experience this sort of sudden pain sporadically 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. Women who have already been pregnant before, tend to experience increased pain, because of the previous damage.

Baby dropping down

As you complete 37 weeks, you may notice that your belly appears below. This is because the baby descends into the lower uterus, in order to prepare for the upcoming labor. The position of the baby and the pressure exerted on the cervix, when she drops down is 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 said to be normal, temporary, and harmless, as long as it doesn’t trouble you with going on 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 is closer to completion.


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