Go back to the Glossary

Restless legs syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in pregnancy is a neurological condition characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as tingling, crawling, or aching. This syndrome tends to worsen during periods of inactivity or relaxation, particularly in the evening and night, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes, iron deficiency, and increased blood volume can contribute to the onset or exacerbation of Restless Legs Syndrome. The exact cause of RLS in pregnancy is not fully understood, but the condition is thought to involve a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors.

Pregnant individuals with RLS may experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to the persistent need to move their legs. This can result in fatigue and daytime sleepiness, impacting the overall well-being of the expectant mother. Management strategies for RLS in pregnancy may include lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy sleep routine, as well as addressing any underlying nutritional deficiencies, especially iron.

It's essential for pregnant individuals experiencing symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome to consult with their healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan that considers the unique aspects of pregnancy. In some cases, medical intervention or medication may be recommended, with careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits to both the pregnant person and the developing fetus.