Pelvic pain or uneasiness around the pelvic region is normal in the course of pregnancy. Considering the fact that the ligaments are stretched, hormone levels are changing, and organs are moving around to make space for the developing womb, experiencing pelvic pain can be expected. However, sometimes this pain could be a warning of some serious issues.
Pelvic pain is the pain that is experienced below the belly button, between the hipbones (pelvic bones). The pain can be sharp or mild, can appear and disappear, and can be sudden and intense, depending on the reasons. Generally, pelvic pain is not a reason to panic. A majority of pregnant women experience pelvic pain, sooner or later, inevitably as the pregnancy advances. Most often pelvic pain is experienced during the last trimester as the bones and ligaments shift and stretch to accommodate the fetus and the strain on the pelvic area increases.
Sometimes abdominal pain is mistaken as pelvic pain by some women. The abdominal pain that is experienced in the course of pregnancy is usually concentrated in the upper part of the body. Whereas, the pelvic pain happens over the pelvic region. The abdominal pains are less sharp than pelvic pain and remain almost constant irrespective if the expecting mother is lying down or walking. Whereas, the pelvic pain will get sharper and more noticeable during walking, climbing steps, standing on one leg (when wearing pants or panties or while getting in and out of the car etc.) or even tossing and turning in the bed.
The pelvic girdle is a bony arched structure in the hip area, which bears several bones and joints. Pelvic joint is mainly formed of two curved pubic bones meeting at the joint called the pubic symphysis , hip joint (which bear the weight of the body), and the sacroiliac joint (connecting the sacrum with the pelvis). Any mechanical issues happen to these joints usually leads to pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
There are two types of pelvic girdle pains, SPD (Symphysis pubis dysfunction) and DSP (Diastasis symphysis pubis). Though related to SPD, the DSP is not that common as SPD. DSP refers to a condition in which the pubic symphysis widens too far. An X-ray, ultrasound scan or MRI scan can only diagnose this condition.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) refers to a condition in which the ligaments that ordinarily keep the pelvic bone in position during pregnancy, turn out to be excessively relaxed and stretchy. This results in the loosening of the pelvic joint (symphysis pubis). It can bring about pain and discomfort around the pelvic region. Around 2% of the expecting mothers are found to experience SPD in the course of pregnancy.
Normally, the muscles and joints of the mother are capable of adapting and adjusting to the changes the pregnancy hormone relaxin induces to the joints. The body automatically takes new postures, which bring about fewer pressures on the joints. SPD happens when the mother’s body fails to adapt to the new changes and affecting the stability of the pelvis, like the joints in the pelvis moving unevenly when you move about. SPD can also happen when one of the pelvic joints does not work properly, causing pain in other joints.
The severity of the symptoms of pelvic girdle pain varies with the expecting mothers. The symptoms can be either mild or so severe that makes it hard to move about. The symptoms can happen any time during pregnancy, either all of a sudden or progressively. The signs of SPD are:
Is Normal Vaginal Birth Possible If The Mother Has SPD?
Numerous women with pelvic pain in pregnancy can have normal vaginal birth. Find birth positions that are the most agreeable for you. Note them down and discuss it with your midwife or doctor. Being in water can reduce the weight on the joints and permit you to move even more effortlessly, so you can also consider having a water birth. You can ask about its probability to your specialist.
The risk factors that make an expecting mother more prone to develop SPD are:
Regardless of the fact that you do not have one of these risk factors, you can still develop SPD.
Physiotherapy is the best method to treat SPD, in light of the fact that, it’s more related to the muscles and bones, than an intense loosening of the joints.
You can cope with SPD if you take care of the following: