Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also known as SPD, is a common painful condition associated with pregnancy in which the ligaments responsible for the proper alignment of your pelvic bone become relaxed and stretchy. As a result, the symphysis pubis or the pelvic joint becomes unstable, causing moderate to severe pain along with certain other symptoms.
Your body produces special hormones during pregnancy to help the fetus grow properly and to prepare for childbirth. Relaxin is one such hormone that relaxes your ligaments and makes them stretchy so that you can easily deliver the baby. But sometimes, the relaxin starts functioning too early and the ligaments around the pelvic bone become loose and unstable long before the baby is developed enough to come out. This leads to instability and pain in the pelvic area.
The following factors contribute to the chances of developing SPD:
Apart from the lower abdomen and pubic pain and discomfort, SPD may also lead to the following symptoms:
In some very rare instances, the pelvic joint may get dislocated noticeably, causing serious pain in the pelvis, hips, groin and buttock. This condition is known as Diastasis Symphysis Pubis.
The diagnosis involves a thorough examination of your medical history while the doctor may also ask you a few questions about your daily routine and lifestyle. Diagnostic tests like ultrasounds can also be used for confirming the diagnosis. X-rays are not used for this purpose unless necessary.
SPD is a common disorder and does not always require medical treatment. You can keep the pain under control by following the guidelines mentioned below:
The treatment often varies depending on the symptoms present.
Usually, the pelvic joint regains its stability gradually after childbirth. The ligaments in the pelvic area become firmer once the body stops producing the hormone relaxin. As a result, the painful symptoms of SPD begin to subside slowly, going away entirely after a certain period.