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Pregnancy, Round Ligament Pain (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Round Ligament Pain

Describe your pain, and any other symptoms, to your health care provider, who will assess whether or not to send you to a hospital’s emergency department. Do not hesitate to seek emergency care if any of the following symptoms occur.

Exams and Tests for Round Ligament Pain

If you need to go to the emergency department, the emergency doctor will examine you to rule out a life-threatening condition.. If you have lower abdominal pain, evaluation of both the abdomen and the pelvis will likely be necessary. Although the exam may be uncomfortable, important diagnostic physical findings may assist the doctor in deciding which laboratory tests to order. Ultimately this may enhance your doctor’s understanding of your condition and aid in further testing and treatment.

The doctor may also order some basic laboratory tests, which will help to assess the overall health of yourself and that of your baby.

  • A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that detects anemia or a possible infection. Often, pregnant women will be slightly anemic. Your white blood cell count may be slightly higher than the anticipated normal level seen in a non-pregnant patient.
  • A urine sample may be tested.
    • Pregnant women with lower abdominal pain may have a urinary tract infection. This could place you and your unborn baby at risk for severe prenatal complications.
    • Often, severe flank pain may represent the passage of a kidney stone. The finding of blood in your urine may assist in making this diagnosis.
    • The doctor may perform an ultrasound of the pelvis if you are not sure of the exact date when your last period bagan or when you conceived. It may also aid in diagnosing miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
      • Ectopic pregnancy remains the most life threatening of disorders in early pregnancy.
      • Ovarian cysts are common in early pregnancy and tend to rupture or twist, (i.e. torse). When a ruptured cyst releases blood into your pelvis, it may be difficult to distinguish bleeding from an ovarian cyst from due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
      • An ultrasound may occasionally aid in the diagnosis of appendicitis, but frequently a CT ("cat") scan will be mecessary to rule out or establish this diagnosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/21/2015
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