Pelvic pain

Pregnancy symptoms

Pelvic pain

Some women develop pelvic pain during pregnancy. This is sometimes also called pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).

Symptoms of pelvic pain
Pelvic pain is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis. 

Pelvic pain is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain and make it difficult for you to get around.

Different women have different symptoms, and the pain is worse for some women than others.

Symptoms can include:

For some women, the pain can also radiate to their thighs, and they may hear a clicking or grinding in the pelvic area. The pain can be most noticeable when you are walking, climbing stairs, or turning over in bed.

Who gets pelvic pain in pregnancy?
It’s estimated that PGP affects up to one in five pregnant women to some degree.

It’s not known exactly why pelvic pain affects some women, but it’s thought to be linked to a number of issues including previous damage to the pelvis, pelvic joints moving unevenly, and the weight or position of the baby.

When to get help for pelvic pain in pregnancy?
Getting diagnosed as early as possible can help keep pain to a minimum. Treatment usually involves moving the affected joint, which helps it work normally again.

If you notice pain around your pelvic area, tell your doctor. These problems tend not to get completely better until the baby is born, but treatment can improve the symptoms.

Treatments for pelvic pain in pregnancy
Physiotherapy aims to ease pain, improve muscle function, and improve your pelvic joint position. This may include:

Coping with pelvic pain in pregnancy
Your physiotherapist may recommend a pelvic support belt to help ease your pain or crutches to help you get around. Some doctors also offers the following advice:

Labour and birth with pelvic pain
Many women with pelvic pain in pregnancy can have a normal vaginal birth. Plan ahead and talk about your birth plan with your birth partner, midwife, or doctor.


Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (30 June 2020)


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