The Truth About SPD in Pregnancy

Something that affects some women is SPD in pregnancy. SPD stands for Symphysis Pubis Dysfuntion and is due to the tissues and ligaments around the symphysis pubis becoming inflamed.

It can cause a lot of pain and will sometimes lead to the condition diastasis symphysis pubis, which is when the gap in the joint of the pubic widens too much.

What causes SPD in pregnancy?

There is very little known about this condition and research is still being undertaken to find out the real cause. There are many experts that believe that it is due to one pelvic side moving more while walking or moving your legs. This area then becomes tender and the ligaments become inflamed.

The experts currently believe that there is no link to the size of the gap that is naturally there in the joint; even women with a normal gap size will feel pain from this condition.

When SPD in pregnancy happens

This is something that can happen at any time throughout a pregnancy. Most will feel it at some time during the pregnancy second trimester, while others do not feel it until a second pregnancy – and usually right at the beginning when this is the case. There are others who will not feel anything until after the delivery of the baby.

pregnant pain

The symptoms of SPD in pregnancy

The most common symptom that is felt is pain around the pubic area. However, this is not the only pain that women may feel; among the most common is back and hip pain due to the ligaments and muscles being attached.

Some women will also feel like bones in the area are either clicking or grinding together and the pain will sometimes shoot down the thighs. The worst time the pain is felt is when walking, especially going up and down the stairs.

The pain has been known to be worse during the night for many women. Unfortunately, this is something that stops many women from sleeping well at night and can cause getting up to go to the toilet painful and difficult.

Treatment of SPD in pregnancy

Most of the time, treatment is through exercise. The main exercises that are given to pregnant women are pelvic floor exercises. These will help to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which will help to gain stability back in the pelvic area. However, this is often doubled up with some exercises that are done in the water, which will help to support the weight of the bump.

It is important to have the condition diagnosed by a doctor, who will be able to offer advice on the types of activities that you do during the day; this will help to ease the pain that is felt and will also aid with the birth. Your midwife will also take your condition into account while writing your birth plan.

Other treatments for SPD in pregnancy include acupuncture – but you will need to have a fully trained practitioner and talk to your doctor about this first – and a support belt to help with posture and movement.


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