9 Things That Can Irritate your Uterus

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

In the 3 weeks since my uterus was officially designated as irritable, I have done a lot of self-discovery. Also a lot of contracting. When the contractions aren’t painful, it’s not such a big deal and I can go on about my day without difficulty. However, when they start to get uglier, it’s hard to do anything but breathe and curse. It’s probably great that I work with kids all day every day, huh?

When my doctor first suggested that I start identifying what irritated my uterus I laughed because I already knew the answer: EVERYTHING. But with a few weeks behind me now, I have actually been able to figure out some things that seem to make a big difference. Of course, there are times where the contractions truly seem to start for no reason, but those are fewer and farther between since I started paying closer attention.

Just in case you’re in the same irritable uterus nightmare that I am, here are 9 things I’ve found that irritate my uterus and how I try to manage them day-to-day.

1. Dehydration. This is the first thing your OB will tell you. Dehydration causes contractions, and I have found that I’m more likely to have them if I haven’t hydrated well. It’s like dehydration sensitizes my uterus to all the other things that irritate it. Now, I have yet to be clinically dehydrated, I’m talking about like, I consumed 70 ounces of water instead of 100. I find that dehydration hits me the most first thing in the morning if I didn’t drink enough the night before, so I try to make sure to keep hydrating in the evening, even if it means more middle of the night wake ups to pee.

2. Full bladder. Nice transition there, right? So since dehydration can be such a contributor, I am guzzling tons of water a day and if I wait until my bladder actually feels full, I am guaranteed a contraction. Often this is what gets the painful ones going for me too, so it’s become a routine to pee at the first sign of an even half full bladder. My doctor recommended peeing once an hour, but there are times when I can’t even wait that long. Oh pregnancy, you’re so fun.

3. Emptying your bladder. Seriously, it’s like I can’t win sometimes. Even if I pee before I’m desperate, the act of peeing is often what triggers a contraction for me. I haven’t really found a solution to this one yet, but I’ve come to accept it as a fact of my stupid uterus.

4. Constipation. I cannot speak on behalf of everyone, but at 31 weeks pregnant, I’ve been constipated for about the past 26 weeks. Yes, that’s probably a little on the TMI side, but no one ever warned me about that and well, it’s pretty awful. Nothing I’ve tried has fully eliminated this issue, and if I don’t stay on top of it with medication, high fiber foods, high water intake, etc, an increase in constipation can be a major contributor to my contractions. Check with your doctor about safe medications or remedies they believe in and do yourself a favor and don’t let it get to the chronic point. It’s fairly awful.

5. Gas. I mean, we may as well continue with the TMI stuff. Why not? Okay, so not the gas you put in your car, but the other kind that there’s really no adequate photo of. Gas absolutely causes my uterus to contract, especially if I try to “manage” it in public. I’d rather take a few minutes in the bathroom and get rid of some of the gas than spend all day with painful gas and contractions. Neither are fun, but the combination is a real treat.

6. Baby movements. My child is a wiggler. I have determined that he is pretty much the valedictorian of kick counts and can knock out the 6-10 kicks in about 5 minutes, if that long. People have noticed him move from across a room and every time I’ve had the pleasure of being hooked up to monitors in labor and delivery for my stupid uterus, they have laughed at how busy he is. There’s nothing quite like having your cervix checked while your baby is in the middle of a 5 minute bout of hiccups. I mean, because awkward situations can only be improved by baby hiccups. I have found zero solutions to this one unfortunately, except to just watch him move like crazy and breathe through the resulting contractions.

7. Standing too quickly. This one caught me by surprise, but it’s one of my biggest sources of contractions. Whenever I go from sitting in bed, on the couch, the car, the floor, etc to standing, I have a contraction. Unless I go slowly. I look a little crazy, but I also look like I swallowed a large melon, so I’m a little beyond the embarrassment part. If I am slow to stand up straight, my uterus is much less likely to contract, which is nice.

8. Standing too long. My contractions are universally worse by the end of the day. When I’m sure it’s not dehydration, my bladder or transitions to standing, the only remaining thing seems to be how long I was on my feet for the day. Since cutting back on work is not really a feasibility for me right now, I usually use the weekend for complete relaxation and sit or lay down for about 90% of the day and though I continue to contract throughout my weekend, the nights are not nearly as bad as when I’m on my feet all day. I have been trying to sit more at work and that seems to be helping somewhat at the end of the day.

9. Lifting. I do a fair amount of lifting every day, usually, it’s the kids I’m working with or the equipment we’ll be using during that session. I am obviously careful not to lift too much and to do it with proper body mechanics, but there are some things I simply have to lift. And lifting absolutely irritates my uterus. I have found a few ways to reduce this, most are job specific, but the biggest change is asking for help. It kills me, but I have to learn my limits and by asking people to help me or to trade patients so that I’m working with the younger, lighter ones instead of the older, heavier ones, I’ve had a slight decrease in the contractions.

Article Posted 6 years Ago

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