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Symphysis pubis dysfunction and pelvic pain

Pelvic pain in pregnancy

What is symphysis pubis dysfunction and PRGP?

Any pain or twinges in pregnancy are a huge worry for mums-to-be, yet most turn out to be totally normal and nothing to worry about. Pelvic pain is something one in five women will experience when they are expecting, and for some, it can be quite severe and debilitating.

At a glance

  • PRGP occurs when the ligaments around your pelvis soften prematurely and become too relaxed and stretchy
  • Is not harmful at all to your baby, but it could make things a bit uncomfortable for you as you try to move around
  • The pains can be in the hips, above the pubic bone, between your vagina and bottom, and down to your thighs

How it can affect you

Pelvic pain in pregnancy is known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or PRGP (pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain) and it can make every day movements such as walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of bed or up and out of a chair pretty uncomfortable.

Where does it occur?

The pains can be in the hips, above the pubic bone, between your vagina and bottom, and down to your thighs. Along with the discomfort, some women will also hear or feel clicks or grinding in their pelvis.

When does it occur?

Symphysis pubis dysfunction occurs during pregnancy when the ligaments around your pelvis soften prematurely and become too relaxed and stretchy, meaning they can no longer keep your pelvis correctly aligned.

Can it harm my baby?

SPD is not harmful at all to your baby, but it could make things a bit uncomfortable for you as you try to move around. Your midwife might refer you for physiotherapy, or suggest you wear a supportive girdle or a band of stretchy (Tubigrip) bandage to help ease your symptoms. Some women have to succumb to crutches to ease the pressure when walking.

Relieving the pain

You can take some measures to lessen the pain yourself, too – keeping your knees together when getting up and down (in a chair or in bed), for example, and sleeping with a pillow placed between your knees.

If you want to talk to someone about symphysis pubis dysfunction and get some advice or support, contact the The Pelvic Partnership You can chat to other mums on Bounty.com in the community.  

At a glance

  • PRGP occurs when the ligaments around your pelvis soften prematurely and become too relaxed and stretchy
  • Is not harmful at all to your baby, but it could make things a bit uncomfortable for you as you try to move around
  • The pains can be in the hips, above the pubic bone, between your vagina and bottom, and down to your thighs
Pelvic pain is something one in five women will experience when they are expecting

Symphysis pubis dysfunction and pelvic pain