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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is a condition caused by the hormone relaxin during pregnancy. The hormone relaxin causes the muscles in a pregnant woman’s pelvic region to loosen. This loosening will naturally happen over time to make room for the baby’s birth. In some people relaxin has a greater effect than others and causes the muscles of the pelvis to become too stretchy, causing the symphysis pubis, also known as “the pelvic joint”, to become loose and unstable causing pain.

It is very rare for symphysis pubis dysfunction to cause issues with vaginal delivery of a baby. It is even rarer for SPD to continue after the birth of the baby and need medical intervention to be fixed. In most cases once the excess relaxin is out of the body the pelvic joint returns to its normal position on its own as muscle tension returns to the area.

A pregnant woman may be suffering from some degree of symphysis pubis dysfunction if any of the following situations cause pain for her in the pelvic region. The pain would feel as if the pubic area is tearing apart and the pain radiates throughout the pubic area into the upper thighs.

  • Walking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Getting dressed while standing up
  • Getting in and out of the car
  • Turning over in bed
  • Standing up straight

Some natural and holistic methods for dealing with symphysis pubis dysfunction include purchasing a pelvic support belt to cradle the pelvis and help keep the pelvic bone in its proper place during the remainder of the pregnancy. Performing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. It is also important a pregnant woman experiencing pelvic pain does not attempt to lift anything heavy as this can worsen the symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction.

The above information does not take the place of a medical consultation and is intended for informational purposes only. Please seek further advice if your symptoms continue or worsen.