With intense symphysis pubis dysfunction, many pregnant women find it difficult to lift their legs, walk, get out of bed, climb stairs, even lift light weight objects, and some women even report feeling and hearing clicking sensation in the pelvis. Generally, if the pelvic area is involved, so is pain. This pain can begin as early as the first trimester, but most commonly is first noticed in the second trimester. While the pain is most prominent in the pelvic area, it can also be felt in the hips, groin, inner thigh, lower abdomen, and lower back, while the sciatic nerve may also be affected.
The pain of SPD is a result of a separation of the cartilage joint located in the front of the pelvis, a gap called the symphysis pubis. During pregnancy, the body emits a hormone called relaxin which allows this cartilage to soften for flexibility during delivery. For some women, the body emits too much of this hormone too soon which causes a large gap between the two pelvic bones, making the area extremely sensitive.
While there is no treatment for SPD, mild pain killers such as Tylenol may help with the pain and are safe during pregnancy. Sometimes a chiropractor can also help to relieve some of the pain. Pregnancy support belts and even crutches are often utilized in an effort to decrease the pain associated with symphysis pubis dysfunction. The positive side of SPD is that it is only a temporary condition, lasting only as long as the relaxin hormone is being secreted by the body.
Although it can be a debilitating condition, SPD will not generally affect the birthing experience. The only precaution to be taken is to be sure that your doctor is aware of your condition. Occasionally it may be necessary to minimize the wide spreading of your legs during a vaginal delivery. In very rare and extreme cases, a cesarean section may be performed to avoid any damage to the pubic bones, and in even more extreme cases, a woman may go on to suffer from SPD long after the delivery of her baby. Generally, symphysis pubis dysfunction is short-lived, lasting only as long as the pregnancy.