When a pregnant woman has contractions that don’t result in labour, it can be scary. However, they might be uterine irritability and not preterm labor. In this article we will discuss what does uterine irritability feel like, what to do about it, and when to call your doctor.
Irritable uterus, also known as false labour, feels similar to Braxton Hicks contractions but are more intense and regular in frequency. They can be painful and can even be confused with real labour pains. The symptoms are often aggravated by exercise, activity and lifting heavy objects. They can also occur at any point throughout the pregnancy, although they are more common during the second and third trimester. Unlike Braxton Hicks, these contractions do not respond to rest or change with activity level and don’t cause the cervix to dilate.
These symptoms are also sometimes mistaken for prodromal labor, which is a term used to describe the early stages of labour. It occurs hours, days or sometimes even weeks before the actual active labor starts. It’s a very common phenomenon but it is not dangerous to the mother or baby, so it’s nothing to worry about.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we suggest keeping a log of when they happen and how long they last. That way you can give your doctor a detailed description and they may be able to help you figure out what’s causing them. In addition, it’s important to stay hydrated and empty your bladder frequently, avoid consuming caffeine, sleep on your left side, and take it easy!