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What is spd pain in pregnancy?

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Answer # 1 #

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) – or pubis symphysis dysfunction – is a kind of pelvic pain that happens during pregnancy. It's also called pelvic girdle pain (PG).

The pubic symphysis is a joint that sits centered between your pubic bones, right above your vulva. When you're pregnant, the ligaments around this joint become more elastic and flexible, so that your baby can pass through during delivery. When the ligaments become too relaxed before then, though, it can cause instability and pain.

SPD can range from discomfort to severe pain that hampers your mobility. It can happen in the front and the back of the pelvis. SPD may be worse at night or after you've been very active. It may feel as if your pelvis is unstable.

SPD is common. About one third of pregnant women have reported symphysis pubis dysfunction. As it becomes increasingly recognized, the documented numbers are increasing.

SPD pain is often a stabbing, wrenching pain. You may feel the pain in the front middle of your pubic bone, in your lower back on one or both sides, and/or in your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus). The pain may radiate to your upper thighs.

The pain may worsen when you widen your legs or when you put weight on one leg. Activities that may make SPD worse include:

Because they increase abdominal pressure, sometimes coughing or sneezing can make pelvic girdle pain worse, too.

Your body produces the hormone relaxin as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy. As you might guess by the name, this hormone relaxes your ligaments, including the ones that hold the pelvic bones together. While this is helpful when it comes time to deliver your baby, if the ligaments stretch too far, or if they allow the pelvic bones to move too easily before then, it can cause instability and pain. SPD can get worse as your pregnancy progresses because of the weight and position of the baby.

SPD can also happen when you're not pregnant, from osteoarthritis or injuries, though it's uncommon.

You are at higher risk for SPD if you:

Pubic symphysis dysfunction won't hurt your baby, but it can certainly make your pregnancy and possibly your labor and delivery more uncomfortable, or even painful. And if it occurs primarily during labor and delivery, you may experience a more painful postpartum recovery.

Talk with your caregiver about your pain so that you can be prepared for any difficulties that arise during labor and delivery. You may want to experiment with different labor and birth positions that provide more support for your pelvis, for example.

And if you choose to have an epidural or spinal anesthesia, you'll want to be careful not to overstretch your ligaments while you're numb. Spreading your thighs widely during pushing, and/or grabbing your legs behind your knees and pulling back, is often recommended by labor and delivery nurses but would not be a good idea, especially if you have an epidural and can’t feel the strain on your joints and ligaments.

Diastasis symphysis pubis (DSP) means that the pubic joint is separated too far. The space between the pelvic bones normally widens about 2 to 3 millimeters (mm) during pregnancy, but sometimes it widens even further and becomes unstable. DSP is when the joint opens more than 10 mm. This can happen before delivery, during delivery, or postpartum.

DSP is rare and very painful. Treatment usually involves stabilizing the pelvis with a brace or belt and exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Most cases of DSP resolve within a few months, though some women need longer-term physical therapy.

If you have SPD pain, it may help to avoid:

To alleviate pain, try:

SPD pain usually subsides when your body stops producing relaxin after your baby's birth and your ligaments return to their non-pregnant state. Rarely, it continues or even worsens after delivery. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms don't improve after your baby arrives.

As your body grows and your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, you may experience different kinds of pelvic pain. Our article on pelvic pain during pregnancy talks about the causes and solutions for different types of pelvic pain, including SPD, DSP, sacroiliac joint pain, and round ligament pain.

Learn more:

Low back pain during pregnancy

Round ligament pain

Lightning crotch

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Answer # 2 #

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), happens when the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed and stretchy soon before birth (as delivery nears, things are supposed to start loosening up).

This, in turn, can make the pelvic joint — aka the symphysis pubis — unstable, causing some pretty strange sensations, including pelvic pain.

The incidence of diagnosed SPD is about 1 in 300 pregnancies, though some experts think that up to 25 percent of all pregnant women will experience SPD (though not all have it diagnosed).

The most common symptoms are difficulty when walking and wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart). Typically, the pain is focused on the pubic area, but in some women it radiates to the upper thighs and perineum.

The pain can worsen when you're walking and doing weight-bearing activities, particularly those that involve lifting one leg like climbing stairs, getting dressed, getting in and out of a car, or even turning over in bed.

The culprit behind SPD is the aptly named hormone relaxin, which makes your ligaments stretchy so your baby can ease his way into the world.

Sometimes relaxin does its job too well, loosening the ligaments around your pelvic bone way before baby is ready to come out, which causes movement (and unfortunately, pain) in the pelvic joint.

In very rare cases, the joint may gape apart, a condition called diastasis symphysis pubis or symphyseal separation, which can cause more serious pain in your pelvis, groin, hips and buttocks. SPD can also worsen after delivery and require medical intervention, but this too is very rare.

For most moms, once your baby is born and relaxin production ceases, your ligaments (and dance moves) will return to normal.

There are some things you can do to ease your discomfort if you're suffering from this pregnancy symptom, including:

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Lorenza Chawla
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Answer # 3 #

Some women may develop pelvic pain in pregnancy. This is sometimes called pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). PGP 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.

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Rohan Hashim
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