Causes and Effects of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction in Pregnancy


If you experience severe pain in your pelvis during pregnancy and it’s affecting your regular activities, then you may be suffering from symphysis pubis dysfunction. Pelvic pain is common in most pregnancies and symphysis pubis dysfunction is seen in almost 60% of expecting women. But the intensity and timing of pain may vary in different cases.

Causes of symphysis pubis dysfunction  

Symphysis pubis is a joint connecting the pubic bone from either sides. When these connective tissues, that are supposed to support and hold the pubic bone become too lose, it causes the pubic bone to lose balance, leading to uncomfortable sensations. This condition may affect any time during the pregnancy period, but is mostly seen in second trimester.

The joints and ligaments in the pelvis are supposed to loosen up, as you near your due date, so that the baby can pass through during birthing. For this to happen, a hormone named relaxin is released early in pregnancy. The increase in production of this hormone makes the  joints to relax and become flexible, a bit too early before the due date. The stretchy ligaments in turn affect the symphysis pubis joint and this causes odd feeling of movements in joints and pain.

Effects of symphysis pubis dysfunction

The first sign of symphysis pubis dysfunction is pain in the pelvic area. The pain can be intense, as if the joints are pulling apart and this may spread to the thighs and groin. You may find it even more uncomfortable to walk or do activities that involve movement of legs such as carrying load, turning on your sides, climbing steps, climbing into the car or out of it.

In certain cases, because of this condition, you may have to undergo C- section instead of a normal delivery. Usually, all the pain and the discomfort goes away after delivery, as the relaxin hormone production stops and the tissues go back to normal.

Things you can do to minimise the pain during pregnancy

  • If you plan ahead to keep fit before conceiving, you have chances to prevent this condition. Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles and bones.
  • After consulting with your doctor, you may practice pelvic stability and muscle building exercises during pregnancy to reduce the pain.
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads or pushing weights.
  • Avoid standing for long periods and be sure not to add all your body weight on one leg.
  • Seek the help of a medical practitioner, if no measures seem to help and if the pain gets severe.


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