The physiologic changes associated with pregnancy come up with a series of symptoms that may mimic a clinically important problem.

Almost every kind of pain is normal to experience in pregnancy, including right side pain. But this doesn’t rule out the possibilities of having a serious problem that’d require medical attention.

Here, we will look around the topic, and classify the reasons that’d cause right side pain in the third trimester of pregnancy, and when to look around for medical attention.


what you will read next :


Common Causes

Round-ligament pain:

Our organs are held by ligaments (like ropes) at their places. During pregnancy, because the uterus (the organ that holds the baby) expands, it causes the round ligament (the rope-like attachment that keeps the uterus in place) to stretch, which may cause mild pain on the right side. This, usually, happens during the first half of pregnancy but can be experienced over the course.

This pain increases with sudden movements, such as changing positions in bed all of a sudden.

In the third trimester (the late phase of pregnancy), because the uterus is continuously expanding, and the baby moves, this all may add up to the discomfort.

To ease the pain, you may try:

Seek medical attention if the pain continues for a long period, and is associated with any of the following symptoms:

Braxton-Hicks uterine contractions:

They are also known as “false labor”.  These contractions are normal during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.

You may feel discomfort, more than feeling the pain. This may feel like mild menstrual cramps. These cramps do not remain for a long time and occur every once in a while. The painful contractions worsen with physical activity. Changing positions (if you’re standing, try sitting or lying down) is proven to be helpful in such situations.

Seek help if you notice:

Gastrointestinal (Digestive Tract) causes:

As your uterus gets bigger, it pushes the organs (stomach, intestines, etc). Also, because of the up and down of hormone levels during the pregnancy, you may feel several digestive symptoms, including reflux (acidity), constipation, and bloating. These may cause discomfort or even pain.

Eating fresh fruits, and a fiber-rich diet may relieve you of these symptoms. If the problem is having reflux, avoiding spicy food may help you.

Seek help if it is associated with the following symptoms:

Fetal position, or movements:

Mild abdominal pain may be related to how your baby is positioned. It can cause pain on both sides but can occur on one side as well. If your baby kicks very often, this may be the cause of why you feel discomfort in your abdomen.


In the final weeks of pregnancy, every pain should be taken seriously. If your cramps are getting stronger with time, and remain for a longer time, you may be ready to give birth. Visit a doctor if you feel any such thing. Mild vaginal bleeding close to giving birth is a normal thing to experience.


Serious Causes


This is a serious condition in pregnancy that causes several symptoms including high blood pressure and passing of protein with urine.

This condition is more seen in women who have a history of pre-eclampsia, have a history of high blood pressure, have diabetes, or are obese. Also, if it’s your first time having a baby, you may be at a higher risk of experiencing this condition.

Pre-eclampsia may raise your blood pressure to a dangerous level, where all your organs might be at risk of being damaged.

If you have pre-eclampsia, you’ll feel the pain in the upper right side, under the ribs. Other symptoms of this condition are as follows:

Tell your doctor immediately if you feel any of the above symptoms along with right side pain.

HELLP Syndrome:

This is a life-threatening pregnancy complication. It affects your liver and the blood and is an abbreviation for:

H- hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells). This may cause a disrupted blood supply to the body.

EL- elevated liver enzymes, which indicates liver problems.

LP- low platelet count. Platelets help your blood to form clots when needed. Having a low number of them would result in serious bleeding.

HELLP syndrome may also cause right side pain during the later weeks of pregnancy.

Women who have a history of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure and other symptoms during pregnancy), or HELLP syndrome are at higher risk.

Visit your doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms:

If you have HELLP, you may need to give birth as soon as possible, because it can be dangerous for you, and your baby.


It is an infection or inflammation in your appendix. This can be dangerous because if it is not treated immediately, it may burst and the infection may spread. It is the most common reason for emergency surgery during pregnancy.

Appendicitis can occur at any time in the course of pregnancy. It cases a lower right-side pain, and may show up with the following related symptoms:

Stomach ache, around your belly button.

Not only this, in the third trimester, you may have additional symptoms, like:

Seek medical help if you experience any such symptoms.


The gallbladder is a small organ located in your right upper quadrant. It contains a fluid called bile- which helps to digest fats from the diet you eat. Sometimes, this fluid hardens up and forms hard stones.

Because pregnancy slows down the digestive system, there is an increased risk of developing gallstones during pregnancy.

It causes upper right-side pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and sometimes a fever.

Sometimes avoiding a fatty diet stops your symptoms, but if the symptoms are severe, and do not go away, let your doctor know.

Placental Abruption:

The placenta is an organ that is made up during pregnancy, and is located on the wall of your uterus. The placenta helps the baby get oxygen and nutrients.

Abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before you give birth.

Placental abruption can cause generalized pain, but can also be right-sided. It causes heavy bleeding and constant severe pain.

Pay attention to the following symptoms:

Women who smoke, or use cocaine, and have high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing this serious problem.


Home remedies, if no serious complication?

If you experience right side pain, with no serious symptoms (that have been mentioned in the article), there is usually no serious problem that you should be worried about. The normal symptoms might include fatigue, constipation, and abdominal pain.

The general and common pains of pregnancy can be reduced by several things at home.

Ease the pain by:


When to get help?

In general, if the pain remains for a longer time, or if the pain increases with time and nothing you do eases it out, visit your doctor.

Many medical emergencies can cause right-side pain and need immediate medical attention.

Some of the symptoms are:

Other symptoms include:

Bleeding during pregnancy throughout the pregnancy, but is more worrisome in second or third trimesters. On the other hand, headaches are more serious if they occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The doctor will have a general check-up, a thorough physical check-up, blood workup, and run a few tests. Sometimes, your doctor might even need an MRI to further diagnose the cause.



Experiencing pain is a normal part of pregnancy. The pain might be caused by many physiological changes that occur during the pregnancy, like weight gain, up and down going of hormone levels, and fetal movements.  Any pain caused because of normal reasons goes away sooner, doesn’t get severe with time, and home treatment works best for common pains.

Serious conditions like pre-eclampsia or appendicitis cause severe pain. This pain generally doesn’t go away and increases with time.

If you feel you can’t see properly, you’ve high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, or a fever, seek emergency help.