Butt pain during pregnancy: Everything you need to know
As the fetus and uterus grow, they put pressure on the hips, back, and buttocks. Buttocks pain can also stem from pregnancy complications and unrelated medical issues.
No matter the cause, talk to a doctor about any new pain that arises during pregnancy. A doctor can often help develop a treatment plan to relieve any bothersome symptoms.
Below, learn more about the causes of buttocks pain during pregnancy, as well as possible treatments and home remedies.
Buttocks pain during pregnancy can either be referred pain — which originates elsewhere in the body and radiates to the buttocks — or it can result from problems in the area.
The following are some possible causes of buttocks pain during pregnancy:
It is common for women to develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus.
As the uterus expands during the second and third trimesters, it puts more pressure and strain on the anus, which can cause hemorrhoids to form.
Constipation and standing for long periods can increase the likelihood of developing hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids can cause:
- anal aches and pain
- itching around the anus
- bleeding during bowel movements
- a tender lump to form in the anus
The sciatic nerve runs from the buttocks down the leg. During pregnancy, the expanding uterus and growing fetus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing a condition called sciatica.
People with sciatica often experience pain in the buttocks. In addition, a person may feel a burning sensation in the leg, butt, and back, as well as a sharp pain in the leg.
Pelvic girdle pain
Pelvic girdle pain affects about 1 in 5 pregnant women. A combination of extra baby weight and movement during pregnancy is often the cause.
Pelvic girdle pain can cause pain in the buttocks, in addition to:
- difficulty walking
- a clicking or grinding in the pelvic region
- pain during sex
- pain when walking
- pain when the weight is all on one leg
- difficulty lying on one side of the body for long periods
Pelvic girdle pain can start anytime between the first and third trimesters. It may develop only in the final days of pregnancy.
Contractions may cause pain in the lower back and butt.
Contractions are the body's way of moving the fetus out of the body. Genuine contractions occur during the last part of the third trimester, just before birth. Some women feel contraction pain in the buttocks.
Other symptoms associated with contractions include:
- bloody or brown discharge from the vagina
- lower back and abdomen pain
- the water breaking
Prior to labor, many women experience false contractions, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These can be painful but — unlike real contractions — they do not occur at regular intervals that are increasingly frequent.
A doctor will ask about symptoms and whether anything makes them better or worse.
In some cases, a visual examination is enough to determine whether a person has hemorrhoids.
Other tests, such as a blood or urine analysis or imaging tests, can also help a doctor determine the underlying cause of the pain.
When to see a doctor
Anytime a pregnant woman experiences unexplained pain, she should speak to a doctor or another healthcare professional.
During pregnancy, a woman should call a doctor or go to the hospital if she experiences:
- the water breaking
- pain that causes nausea
- a loss of control over the bowels or bladder
- pain that does not get better
- copious blood loss from a hemorrhoid
Treatments and home remedies
Hemorrhoid treatments are available by prescription or over the counter.
There are several potential treatment options for buttocks pain during pregnancy. Some common treatments include:
- over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications that are safe to use during pregnancy, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which is available for purchase online
- hemorrhoid creams and ointments
- prescription pain relievers for more severe pain
It is essential to speak with a doctor about which medications are safe to use. Some, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can be harmful. Some women wish to avoid using certain other drugs during pregnancy.
For mild pain or if a woman wishes to avoid medical intervention, home remedies may help.
Home remedies for butt pain during pregnancy include:
- using witch hazel for hemorrhoids, such as these available for purchase online
- sitting in warm (not hot) water for hemorrhoids
- eating fiber to help avoid constipation
- avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time
- sleeping with a pillow under the belly and between the legs
- light stretching
If sciatica is causing the pain, the stretches in this article have been specifically designed to relieve sciatica pain during pregnancy.
While it is not always possible to prevent pain in the buttocks during pregnancy, a woman may be able to reduce the risk by:
- avoiding constipation with a diet high in fiber
- staying hydrated to avoid preterm contractions
- if possible, staying active during pregnancy
- stretching the muscles in the back, buttocks, and legs
For the most part, buttocks pain during pregnancy is not a major cause for concern. Home remedies can often help relieve common causes of the pain, such as hemorrhoids or the extra weight of pregnancy.
However, if there is no obvious cause, see a doctor. It is especially important to consult a doctor about pain that is severe, new, or persistent.