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Q. Does excruciating back pain in a 37-week pregnant woman mean labor?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 37 weeks pregnant and I have been having excruciating back pain since last night. It does not seem to go away no matter what I do. It hurts to move or do anything. Could I be in labor? And do I need to go to the hospital?

Dr. Sameer Kumar

Infertility Obstetrics And Gynaecology


Welcome to

The sudden onset back pain in a full term pregnant patient is likely to be due to lightening when the baby's head goes down in pelvis and the sacrum and coccyx bone extend to accommodate the presenting part. If there is no abdominal tightness and contractions which are of increasing intensity and lasting for more than 15 to 20 seconds each, then unlikely that you are in labor. But it is always recommended to go to the hospital and get yourself evaluated by the obstetrician.

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