Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a common condition found during pregnancy, presenting as pain around the pubic joint area. It is a separation by this joint that leads to pain, caused by the hormone relaxin that is produced in your body during pregnancy. Once the baby is born, the level of the hormone decreases (but is mimicked if you are breast feeding), and the pain will start to go away.
Well this is the scenario in most cases, however for some people this pain can linger or even start after labour itself. Due to the hormone relaxin, your ligaments are more soft and stretchy to enable your baby to be born. Due to this, labour itself (especially if it is a traumatic birth or you delivered in stirrups) can cause a separation at the symphysis pubic joint.
SPD after labour will get better but in some cases it can take time. The good news is there are things that can be done to speed this healing process along, one of those being physiotherapy. After your physiotherapist has assessed you they will give you lots of advice on movement techniques such as keeping your legs closer together during activities that you need to carry on with your daily living. They will help you find comfortable positions to carry out tasks that are important to you. They may also decide to give you crutches if they feel you will benefit from them, along with a specially designed SPD belt (this is different from a back support belt). They will also guide you on specific exercises and design you a personal home program exercise session. Of course this program will also include pelvic floor exercises that every woman should include into her daily routine.
If you feel you need to, you can also take pain killers and over the counter anti-inflammatories. It is important to remember that you can only take anti- inflammatories after labour once the baby is out and NOT if you are still pregnant and suffering from SPD. This is true even if you are breast feeding. If you are pregnant and suffering from SPD, you can only take over the counter pain killers such as Acamol and must go to your doctor if you need something stronger.
If you are suffering from SPD and would like to book an appointment, please contact me on 0544485086 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can arrange to see you in Bishvilaych Women’s Comprehensive Medical Centrein Givat Shaul, Jerusalem or a home visit if you live in Gush Etzion.