Irritable Uterus In Pregnancy- Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment


Ever wonder what happens to your uterus while you’re pregnant?

What else is it doing besides stretching to accommodate your developing baby?

Practice contractions may be familiar to everyone, often referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions. Contrary to regular contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions are frequently milder and more unpredictable. After a time, they stop, especially if you drink water or relax. Nevertheless, some pregnant women deal with a condition known as an irritable uterus (IU).

Although it looks like labor, this uterine contraction happens during pregnancy. Here is some information regarding what an irritated uterus is specifically and whether there is a cure.

irritable uterus in pregnancy

What Exactly Is A Uterus?

The uterus is a multi-layered muscular powerhouse. The cervix is kept closed during pregnancy by the horizontal inner layer of muscles.


The cervical opening widens and helps with delivery as labor progresses due to a tightening of the outer vertical muscle layer.

What Causes An Agitated Uterus?

The uterus becomes irritable when it spasms during pregnancy without affecting the cervix.

Similar to Braxton Hicks, but more frequent and persistent, the contractions won’t stop if you drink alcohol or take a nap.

Contractions in an irritable uterus differ from those in typical labor. Muscular and regular contractions accompany labor.

We don’t really know what causes IU in pregnancy because there haven’t been many studies done to look at the issue.

However, based on what women say about it, we are aware of a few typical triggers:

  • Exercise
  • heaving large items
  • Experiencing orgasm
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Constipation 
  • a stuffed bladder
  • infection of the urinary tract
  • abnormal fetal movement

An agitated uterus is regarded as the root of early labor.

Prodromal Labor vs An Irritable Uterus

Prodromal labor and an irritable uterus might be mistaken, but they are not the same thing. False labor is another name for prototypical work. The period leading up to real labor generally occurs after 37 weeks. Less irritable uterine contractions can’t compare to the intensity of these. It doesn’t occur to every woman, but it’s most typical during a woman’s first pregnancy.

The Greek verb “prodromos,” which means “to run before,” is the source of the English word “prodromal.” This type of labor, which starts hours, days, or weeks before genuine active labor happens, has a fantastic explanation in this context. It’s a precursor to your body getting ready for the real deal, in other words.

Prodromal labor may be inconvenient, but it won’t harm you or your unborn child, so there’s no need to be concerned.

How Does A Ruffled Uterus Feel?

Menstrual pains that are consistent in length and timing occur regularly and have been compared to an uncomfortable uterus.

They might hurt a little more and feel like Braxton Hick’s contractions.


Women who experience uterine irritability often mistake these contractions for actual labor because of their intensity. In addition to a sense of tightness, there may also be back pressure or discomfort.

Unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, which get worse as activity increases, irritable uterine contractions do not. When trying to stand or move, IU might also appear like it has a persistently tight stomach. Unfortunately, a lot of women’s tight stomachs can last for longer than an hour at a time.

How To Recognize A Fussy Uterus?

Your doctor will perform several tests to determine what’s going on if you start having contractions before 37 weeks.

Your doctor will first keep track of your contractions. This is achieved by putting on a special belt that allows you to measure the contractions’ strength, length, and frequency.

In order to assess how well your baby is doing, it also checks your heart rate.

Other tests may be recommended by your doctor to determine whether you are at risk for preterm labor.


These exams comprise:

Analyses of fetal fibronectin

 A sample of vaginal secretions is tested for the presence of a protein that connects the uterus and the amniotic sac. You risk giving birth prematurely if the test results are promising. You might not, however, have an early delivery.

Using ultrasound, you may measure how long your cervix is. When contractions are actively trying to dilate the cervix, it starts to shorten and thin.

Taking care of an agitated uterus

It can be exceptionally difficult to handle uterine irritation. Your sleep may be disturbed, and you can have anxiety about premature labor. All of this may increase your fatigue.

If you are experiencing frequent contractions, your doctor may advise bed rest or hospitalization.

Your doctor might prescribe medication if other treatments don’t seem to be helping your IU. The drugs nifedipine (Procardia) and hydroxyzine (Vistaril) can ease contractions.


Making the best decision can be challenging because we don’t know what causes an irritable uterus.

How Can I Calm My Uterus Down?

Try putting one hand on your sternum while the other is on the area of your belly that is directly beneath your ribs.

Deeply inhale to the count of three, followed by a calm, four-count exhalation. When you inhale, your pelvic floor unwinds, and when you exhale, it settles back into place. This could help your uterus loosen up and cease contracting.

There are additional methods to stop irritable uterine contractions from starting:

  • Maintain an empty bladder; a full bladder might cause more discomfort.
  • Remain hydrated.
  • lessen your level of tension
  • Sleep well and refrain from carrying anything heavy
  • On the left side of the bed.
  • Eat more often and in smaller portions.
  • Beware of caffeine

Before taking supplements, speak with your doctor to make sure you don’t have enough magnesium.

If the uterine irritability is severe, your doctor may recommend medication to stop the contractions or reduce their frequency.


Breathe deeply as you count to three, then slowly as you take a leisurely breath, count to four. As you breathe in, your pelvic floor unwinds, and as you breathe out, it settles back into place. By doing so, you could help your uterus stop contracting and soften.

Women frequently get magnesium sulfate to try to calm an agitated uterus. Dark chocolate, fatty fish, avocado, almonds, tofu, legumes, and whole grains are a few other foods that you can include in your diet because of their high magnesium content.

Can An Angry Uterus Cause Bed Rest?

You could be put on bed rest if your doctor thinks you have a higher chance of giving birth prematurely. When you spend practically all of your time in bed, you are on total bed rest.

Total bed rest means spending practically all of your time in bed. When you take an additional four hours of daily rest in bed, this is known as “partial bed rest.” Pelvic rest, often known as not partaking in any sexual activity, particularly masturbation,

Irritable Uterus: A Preterm Birth Risk Factor?

The risk of a woman giving birth before 37 weeks is widely acknowledged to be increased by uterine irritation.

This connection has been the subject of research dating back to 1995. The results of this study showed that preterm labor was more frequently associated with other high-risk variables, despite the fact that nearly 19% of women who experienced uterine irritability also experienced preterm labor.


Unfortunately, no more research has been done to explore this connection, so the cause of the elevated risk is still unclear.