Question: I’m 27 weeks along and a few weeks ago I mentioned to my doctor the severe pain I was having in my pubic region. He explained that my pubic bones weren’t spreading properly, so every time I move they’re rubbing together, causing pain. He didn’t recommend anything to ease the pain other than to have my baby. The pain is getting worse every day. Is there anything I can do?
Answer: The condition that you are describing sounds like symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). As your pregnancy progresses, your pubic bones need to separate in order for your baby to pass through during delivery. Pregnancy hormones relax the cartilage between the pubic bones to make this possible. But sometimes, either because the pelvis is misaligned or because of your body’s sensitivities to the pregnancy hormones, your pelvic area can become especially tender and painful. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why some women experience the severe pain associated with SPD and others don’t.
There’s no simple answer as to how to treat SPD. Ultimately, your healthcare provider is right—once you have your baby, the pains will subside. But that doesn’t help in the meantime. I would suggest that you ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a physical therapist. You might also discuss conventional treatments like pain relievers along with alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, and others.