What are the common causes of right lower quadrant pain in pregnancy?

What are the common causes of right lower quadrant pain in pregnancy?

With many changes which take place during pregnancy, it is easy for women to wonder whether their feelings are normal or a sign that something is wrong. The abdomen and pelvis undergo noteworthy changes during pregnancy which make them the site of aches and pains. Some of the distress is normal, and other aches show problems.

Your right lower quadrant is the bottom right side of the abdomen from the tummy button down. There are several possible causes of right lower quadrant pain in pregnancy. Most of them are of no concern, but it is vital to seek medical aid if the pain is severe or is associated with other signs.

Causes of right lower quadrant pain in pregnancy

Even if you are pregnant, you can still have abdominal pain caused by all the same situations seen in non-pregnant women. Pain localized to the right lower quadrant may have many causes. Some of them are as follows;


  • Miscarriage is very common in the first trimester (first twelve weeks of pregnancy). Thus, almost 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.
  • It can also happen later in pregnancy (second trimester) but that is less common.
  • Usually, it causes cramping pain, very similar to period pain. It can occur over both sides of the lower tummy.
  • Often, it is accompanied by bleeding that can range from a small amount of dark blood to larger amounts of bright red blood with clots.


  • Very common in pregnancy which gives you crampy lower tummy pains.
  • You will open your bowels less often than you usually do and typically you pass hard, pellet-like stools (feces).

Pelvic ligament pain

  • Usually, pelvic ligament pain starts about 14 weeks and goes on into late pregnancy.
  • This happens due to the growing womb pulling on the structures (round and broad ligament) that hold it in place.
  • Typically, it causes shooting pain down one or both sides of your abdomen and sometimes down into the genital area and hips.
  • Ligament pain can be quite marked.

Urine infection

  • Urinary infection is common in pregnant women.
  • Usual symptoms are of discomfort and pain when you pass urine and passing urine more often.
  • You may also get a high temperature and tummy pain and notice blood in pee.
  • If you do feel pain, it is usually across your lower abdomen. But it can also occur on one side if you are developing a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).

Ectopic pregnancy

  • It is a pregnancy which is not in the normal place.
  • In this condition, pain is often unexpected and can be severe, but it can come on over some days.
  • Further, you may have missed your period but you can still have an ectopic pregnancy even if you consider you have had a period.
  • Often, vaginal bleeding happens but not always.
  • Rarely, you can also get the pain over the top of the shoulder.

Therefore, you should always consult a doctor immediately if you think you might be pregnant and are experiencing right lower quadrant pain. As you could have an ectopic pregnancy.

Right lower quadrant pain in later pregnancy

Pelvic girdle pain is the pain which affects the joint connecting the two bones at the front of the pelvis, called the symphysis pubis. During pregnancy, this joint becomes loosened often as early as 14 weeks into pregnancy. The discomfort and pain can be severe and is typically felt over the symphysis pubis. Furthermore, it can also spread to the right lower quadrant.

In later pregnancy, right lower quadrant pain can be caused by a placental abruption or by going into labor. Placental abruption occurs when there is bleeding between the afterbirth (placenta) and the lining of the womb. Labor is too soon if it happens before 37 weeks called premature labor.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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