Baby Hints & Tips

Irritable Uterus – What is it? What are the issues? What do you need to know?

Ah, the joys of pregnancy never cease! An irritable uterus is a condition that’s just about as fun as it sounds. Here’s what you need to know.

What is an Irritable Uterus?

This term refers to uterine contractions that do not actually result in any changes to your cervix. By definition, this means that they are definitely NOT labour but they can be incredibly painful (the word ‘irritable’ doesn’t really go far enough).

There are a number of potential causes of irritable uterus. Amongst them can be an infection (like a UTI or something similar), an overly full bladder or a bladder infection, sex or other physical activity. They can be similar to Braxton-Hicks but are usually stronger and more frequent and often do not respond to rest, water or relaxation.

As with any medical condition, the first thing that you should do is to seek the expert opinion of your medical team. They’ll be able to properly examine you to determine if this is actually the cause of your pain and discomfort or if there is something more serious involved. Baby Hints and Tips insists that you do NOT rely on Google to determine and self-diagnose your medical symptoms.

Irritable Uterus

Are there any possible home remedies?

Again, Baby Hints and Tips would like to STRESS consultation with your medical practitioner first.

Many women have reported the following as possible ways to ease the pain of an irritable uterus.

  • Eating or drinking items that are high in sugar or carbohydrates
  • Drinking lots of water.
  • Drinking milk.
  • Laying on your left side.
  • Ensuring you regularly go to the toilet.
  • Eating small, frequent meals that are easy to digest and don’t leave you feeling bloated.
  • Being careful with physical activities.
  • Creating at atmosphere of calm (meditation apps, regular rest, quiet times scheduled throughout the day)

What does the Baby Hints and Tips Community say about Irritable Uterus?

  • I was diagnosed with irritable uterus at 26 weeks and am currently 35 weeks with twins. The best advice I can give is rest, drink lots of water, go to the toilet often and no heavy lifting. I find that if it is happening to me I lay on my left side, have a sip of water and go to the toilet. If my partner is home he rubs my back or belly. Good luck and listen to your body. Chantelle
  • I had an irritable uterus and I carried my baby until 38 weeks. I contracted for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy and went into early labour at 32 weeks. When I was induced I was already 2cms dilated. I had a great labour and a beautiful baby boy! Kirsty
  • I had an irritable uterus from about 24 weeks. I was in hospital for 4 days with preterm labour and was given medication to stop contractions as well as steroid injections for bub’s lungs. The contractions stopped and I was on rest for the rest of my pregnancy with contractions coming back every now and then. I went into natural labour at 39 weeks. Rebecca
  • I have an irritable uterus! One was born at 34 weeks, two was born at 38 weeks after two hospital admissions. 28 weeks and 32 weeks. Anti labour drugs and steroids. Three was born on due date with on problems. Currently pregnant with four. Was admitted at 29 weeks, given anti labour drugs and steroids, currently 30 weeks on bed rest, hoping to carry as close to term as possible. Jennifer
  • I’ve had it during all three pregnancies and I carried my first until 40 weeks, second to 37 weeks and I’m currently 37 weeks now with baby three. Ellie
  • Had it with my second child. Started at around 33 weeks, was put in hospital at 34, given steroids and nefidiphine tablets to stop it. Stayed in hospital a week then had from 35-37 weeks basically bed rest at home. Stopped taking nifidiphine tablets at 36+4. Was induced at 37 weeks due to a few other factors! It’s awful. Nicole
  • Started at around 20 weeks with twins. I delivered at 35 weeks 5 days due to a completely different issue. Steph
  • I feel for you! Had it with my second. Mine started around 36 weeks and delivered at 38. Absolutely bed rest and an empty bladder are were the only things that eased it for me. Sorry, not much help! Domini
  • I had an irritable uterus from about 25 weeks without knowing. Thought it was normal like Braxton Hicks until 34 weeks and thought I was in labour. Had severe period pain like cramping and could hardly walk. Went to maternity and was having contractions every five minutes. I was put on bed rest and delivered at 39 weeks 4 days. I felt as though I would deliver much earlier but they say it really doesn’t indicate that at all. Gaby

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  1. Erica says:

    I had it with my 2nd from 16 weeks and carried him to 39w5d with a very brief labour (20 minutes) and currently 31weeks pregnant with 3rd baby and have had since 10 weeks. If I hadn’t been told at a check that I was in early labour by the doctor, I had no clue that I was about to deliver until I had the urge to push. Unfortunately mine where not like waves of contractions, just one long contraction that kept me ‘locked up’ from a few minutes to several hours. I best relate it to having an intense muscle cramp like you would get from doing sport and so with this pregnancy am treating it like a muscle/sports injury and managing much better with it, with them being less frequent but still intense and long. I find that lifting items, needing to go to the toilet, staying active, rolling over at night, sitting or standing too long, pushing shopping trolleys, and poor hydration cause them to be more frequent. Best remedies so far is taking electrolytes regularly when I’m having a busy day to minimise the intensity and duration of them, warm/hot shower/baths until it passes, go to the toilet regularly… Don’t hold on, keep your fluids up and rest as much as possible. Interestingly my sister had it too with her 2nd and 3rd children, going into preterm labour at 31 and 33 weeks, which they succeeded in stopping and able to get to deliver at 37 weeks and 40 weeks.

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