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Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am suffering with this and wondering if anyone else on MDC is going through this now or has had it in the past. I would love to create a sort of support group. I just wrote a long post and then my phone died! greensad.gif So I don't have the energy to re-write everything right now but I wanted to get this out there as soon as possible to reach as many mothers as I could! wink1.gif

Here's a good link describing it:

I searched the mdc forums and found really good threads on SPD but they are really old. hoping in this thread that we mamas dealing with SPD can help each other with advice and support and just fellow commiseration. From mothers who have had SPD in the past: I am specifically interested in how this affected your birth, if it did at all. I had a homebirth with mt first and it was uneventful but way more painful than I imagined and I tore pretty badly. with this pregnancy I was planning on doing lots of squatting and exercise to Insure that I was as fit and flexible as I could be for the birth, but now I am completely contained to the smallest movements and limited from even walking for too long. It hurts my pelvic area and pubic area to even go to the bathroom. I can't put my pants on without pain, get in or out of cars, lift my leg to step over something, ect. And rolling over in bed and getting out if bed are all hell!!! Soooo painful!!!! I know these are all common SPD complaints but I am freaking out about going Into labor and my body being capable --with this condition-- to birth my baby. I hate having these fears and I hate doubting my body but right now my body just feels, so, ....broken. greensad.gif

Hope to hear from others who know what I'm going through and we can offer each other any help/sympathy.
post #2 of 19


I am suffering really badly at the moment. Couple of days ago I shoved one of the dogs out of my way with one leg, and it kind of made a weird noiese in my symphysis and since than I am walking like a duck with plastered legs. 


It is soooo painful, and having all these other problems at the same time really drives me nuts. 


I had it in the last pregnancies, too, they induced DD2 because I wasn't able to walk the stairs anymore, but I don't remember it as this painful, it was more of an ache and a feeling as if I was walking against mud or something. Now, I cannot walk, cannot sit, can barely turn at night (which might have something to do with all the other kids in our bed :) ) and am reallly grumpy about it. 


It is unfair, I think. But than, I am nearly forty. Maybe I am just getting too old for being pregnant....


Does anyone know about nutrition or supplements or anything that might help? I did not find anything yet ...


ohh ... and the birthing.... I was never able to be "flexible" giving birth. I am like a turtle on her back giving birth. The midwives have to turn me. I did give birht on my side, but they and my DH had to turn me in that position and hold my legs and stuff. 

And my hips and symphysis pain was the worst pain during labour. I just could not get to a position, where I was comfortable. 


I planned to do yoga this pregnancy... but ... you know... here my plans go ... 

post #3 of 19
I had it over my three term pregnancies but lesser and lesser with each. I am sorry this doesn't help you now but I learned I have super weak ligaments in my pelvis and the only things to be done are not hurt them in the first place as well as build lots of strength while not pregnant. My first I could barely walk for the last couple months. My second I was stronger. I learned that women with this problem should never push things out of the way with one leg or do any of the traditional pelvis opening exercise that are supposedly so good for pregnancy and never never ever sit on a yoga ball. Unfortunately that pregnancy I really over did it hiking to the end and still got screwed up. My third pregnancy I was gentle on myself and avoided any moves with even a twinge of pain and I was a whole lot better.

I wouldn't say SPD affected the birth. I had my three in a pool anyway so that gave me plenty of mobility but I did have a lot of trouble walking for a few weeks after each birth.
post #4 of 19

I started to get SPD really badly when I was only 4 months along this time.  I didn't have it at all with my first, and only in the last 2 months with my second.  After it flared up this pregnancy, I got one of those hip support bands, and that was like a miracle thing - except super uncomfortable to sit in.  I took it easy for a couple of months, and only now as i am hitting the third trimester has it come back at all (I figured out that some if it was due to wearing heavy winter boots - sticking to light hikers really helps).  If you can tighten your bum muscles (like gluteus maximus) that helps a lot, so I often walk and tighten my butt at the same time.


By the time I gave birth to my second child, I was in a lot of pain, and I thought it would last during and after the birth, but it went away pretty quickly for me and it didn't impact my ability to give birth - hospital, with no pain meds.  I think I had residual pubic pain for a short while after, but maybe a couple of weeks, and nowhere near what it was before.  If possible, I would try taking it really easy for 2-3 weeks, and getting one of those support belts to see if that makes a difference - they're not the belly support things, or the lumbar support - it's like a 2-3 inch wide belt that goes around the middle of your hips, right at the pubic bone height, and sort of pulls it all together.  Also sleeping with something between your legs - I just use a towel, and up high, like in your inner thigh area, not your knees, seems to help me for the nighttime pain.

post #5 of 19
Ooo. I remember that with #1. Mine was a dog thing, too. I was trying to break up a dog fight, and.ran quickly around the house with my dogs.and it hurt so bad. I was ok during her birth, ur hurt for months afterwards.

My others I have been really careful, and ditto about not pushing.things with your toes. Hurts SO bad. But, also, going to the chiropractor regularly has really really.helped.me. some even know how to adjust the pubic bone! Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there. Might be worth a try.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone! It helps to know we're not alone and to read that it doesn't always necessarily affect labor and delivery.

What are your most common symptoms problems/issues with SPD? And what have you founs that has helped?

My problems/ssymptoms/things that make things worse:
*the worst area of pain for me is my pubic bone/ pubic mound area. It is in a constant state of feeling sore and bruised. Like somebody punched it a million times. Just the all over SPD pelvic pain and pelvic floor pain! I have lower back pain and pain in my inner thighs too.
*my left hip does that thing where it "clicks" in and out of place and sometimes it freezes and gets stuck in this one position that is soooo painful that I have to breathe through it and pound my fist like.
*rolling over in bed is excruciating!
*getting in and out of bed is second to the worst thing.
*putting pants on
*stepping in and out of the bath
*having my daughter sit on my lap (which is so sad and I miss just being able to hold her!) But the pressure of even her little 23lb body on my pelvis just hurts too much.
*getting in and out of the car
*driving! I really noticed this week how agitated my SPD becomes from pushing the pedal and break and irritating my pelvis.
*sex! Oh my gosh can I talk about this for second? This maybe TMI...This pregnancy I have already had the lowest libido EVER but my heart and soul want to make love with my dh so I've tried and generally can sorta start to get into it even if the hormones aren't really there... well a few nights ago I was starting to really enjoy things more than I have in a long time and just being free in the moment, I went to straddle dh and screamed! It hurt so insanely badly and felt like I tore every muscle and ligament from my lower abdomen to my pubic area and inner thighs! I fell over in pain! Lol. It's funny recalling it now but it was not funny in the moment and totally sucked to learn that I could either not sex or just not enjoy sex because I have to be super still and cautious. Blah.

Things that I have found which help:

*pretending I have a golf ball between my knees and at all times holding my legs together just so. If I have them apart for too long or if one leg is in front of the other then it alwayd makes things worse. I learned this the hard way bc when I would start to feel pain, I would go sit down. Well I was sitting with my legs crossed or with my legs pretty open for the most of the time and OUCH I would only feel worse and worse. So I now I have to constantly remind myself and change my position but my oh my has it helped! I've had the best past few days bc of it. also, keeping this in mind when rolling over Iin bed. Its strange but keeping my legs and pelvis aligned while I roll over really is the least painful way.
*related to above, when sitting at home or in the car, I put a belt around my lower thighs, like close to my knees and keep it clamped as though a golf ball were between them.
*sitting down to put my pants on!
*putting a pillow between my legs when I sleep... NOT JUST BETWEEN MY KNEES...but putting it between my thighs and kinda stuffed in my crotch like. That helps!
*SWIMMING!!!!!! ALL of you suffering from SPD NEED TO GET YOURSELF TO A SWIMMING POOL!!!!! I just went this past Wednesday and I could not believe how marvelous it felt! Seriously. I was pretty skeptical about how much range of motion I would actually be able to do and how much it coupd help but not exaggerating--it's changed my life. I hadn't felt that good since before I was pregnant. I've had a hard time this pregnancy--because of thr pain--to really be *in* my body. I've actually wanted desperately to escape it and it's been really hard emotionally and spiritually. But with swimming... I felt like my soul got reconnected to my body and I was intergrated and whole once again (not literally but figuratively). And not just in the pool but outaidw of it as well! It was the best therapy and afterwards I felt so much more loose and flexible and have been able to move around and do activities for longer periods of time, ect. Cannot recommend swimming more! I'm going to go 3x a week from here on out.
*I made an appointment with a chiropractor for the first time in my life. Anyone have experience with this? I made sure ahe is Webster certified and familiar iwith SPD and she said that is a common reason she works on pregnant women so we shall see. I am nervous but hopeful and will let you all know how it goes after my appointment!

ETA: sorry for all the typos! I am on my phone and in a hurry!
Edited by Philothea - 2/16/14 at 10:49pm
post #7 of 19

I have found that yoga (not prenatal yoga, but regular yoga) - particularly stretching out the hip flexor muscles has really helped a lot.  I've started to wonder if the pubic pain is just an exacerbation of my decreased activity, which has meant less stretching, and therefore tightening and weakening of my hip/pelvic muscles, so I use different muscles to compensate and then the pubic bone gets stressed.  Last week I overdid it and was in a ton of pain, then I went to yoga and did a lot of leg and hip muscle stretching (which I thought was going to be brutal) and I felt awesome (like walking with zero pain) afterward.  I don't have any time to swim, so I'm on the yoga program instead.


For me, a pillow was my go-to in previous pregnancies, but I'm finding a towel rolled up or scrunched up and stuck between my legs (like you say, up high, like in my crotch) seems to work the best for minimizing any pain at night.  I also got a support belt for my hips, which I try to wear when I'm walking out walking.

It sounds like your SPD is pretty bad, though, so none of these suggestions may help.  I am definitely feeling a lot better this time around than with my second pregnancy.  For stuff like putting on pants (nylons are the worst!) and other things that require lifting your leg, sitting on the side of a bed (or having some sort of support to push off) is the best way to go.  And for sex...some people like it/some people don't, but doggy style is definitely the easiest on the hips :wink

post #8 of 19

Acupuncture plus chiropractic care have been a really good combo.  The only thing that went wrong was I felt great after my first acupuncture treatment and totally over did it.  I could not walk the next day and called DH crying for him to come home early.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Chiropractor was fantastic and now I'm doing swimming 3x a week and sitting on an exercise ball regularly throughout the day.
I am seeing a big improvement from these Changes. Unfortunately the SPD is still there and all the things that are hard to do and that are painful...still are. ..but at least it's like a livable pain and I'm learning how to work with my limitations. Rolling over in bed is still the worst!
post #10 of 19

To give you some hope- my baby was born 4 days ago, and I am feeling sooo much better.  I still get a little pain, but it is going away, and already I can move in ways that were unthinkable last week.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
That is so great to hear mattie! So happy for you!!! smile.gif and it definitely gives me hope!
post #12 of 19
I am so happy to have found this today, I have been feeling so alone. This is only my 6th day off work for SPD and I am already getting depressed. I can't walk, sit down, stand up, lay down/move in bed, drive, go to the bathroom or climb stairs without bursting into tears. I am almost 35 weeks so I don't have much longer to go but the pain is so unbearable. Last night I could not even get off the toilet. I told my husband I just wanted to die. This is the worst pain I have ever been through in my life and I have been through 36 hours of labour with my first daughter. Luckily my husband and mother and physio are very supportive, however other family, friends and work think I am being very overdramatic. I hate this and will NOT ever be getting pregnant again.

Edit: with regards to swimming, this was suggested to me last week. While in the pool I felt amazing, then I got out...I could not walk, I could not sit, I couls not even dress myself and I mean my mother had to even put my bra on because of the "pull" from my hips. Just warning that swimming does not help everyone with this condition. I didn't even really swim, just sat on a noodle in about 5ft deep water so it was not any strenuous movements
Edited by pandmmommy - 3/6/14 at 9:24am
post #13 of 19
I know it is awful right now, but you might not have problems with other pregnancies. It was horrid in my first, and i have had 4 more babies since without it. A little pain here and there, but not a problem.

Its possible that sitting in the pool on the noodle caused the problem to worsen, not the pool itself. The water allows your skeletal structure and ligaments to shift more freely. If you weren't sitting in a perfect position, they were just able to settle to a worse place. I had a memory foam mattress on my bed which was great when I was on it, but because my body could "settle", it was all kinds of bad when I got up.

You mentioned you are going to a physio, but have you also seen a chiropractor? Getting someone to put everything into position, and then using a splint for your pelvis, and a support belt for your belly might give you some relief.

I'm sorry you are hurting so badly. I do remember how awful it was...
post #14 of 19
Well now that I think about it, I guess it does make sense that the noodle could have been the reason for making it worse...I am still scared to ever try it again at this point.

I haven't seen a chiropracter because I can't really afford it. The only reason I can "afford" the physio is because my OB was ontop of getting a referral for me straightaway because she couldn't even lean me back or touch me to get my uterine measurement. It was awful I burst into tears and was so embarassed. I don't know if I mentioned but I am on crutches too...they help a little but I still feel like I am going to topple over when I get a zing of pain through my hip.

Did you get depression with this? I am finding the depression hard to cope. I was prescribed zoloft but have so far refused to take it because I am worried about what it might do to my baby. I am just basically couch ridden. I can't do anything for my daughter, husband or myself...it is emotionally draining...
post #15 of 19
I now have another concern...the pain got so bad I was advised to go to triage for monitoring. I was offered medication but because I am allergic to coedine, had to refuse everything but ambien and tylenol. Also, it turns out I was having pretty agressive contractions. My pelvic pain was so bad I did not even know I was having them. They were able to get them under control, however told me if they couldn't, they would just allow labor to happen because I will be 35 weeks monday. I guess I am just worried now because if I couldn't even feel my contractions how will I know I am in labor? My water didn't break with my first, my doctor had to break it so it may not break this time on its own either. I am worried.
post #16 of 19

:Hug- How is it going?

post #17 of 19
How are you doing, pandmmommy??

I had pretty severe pain in my sacro-iliac joints with my first pregnancy, from about 25 weeks. My MW classified it as SPD, even though my pubic joint/bone rarely hurt. I found that sitting on a yoga ball did help, as did a yoga class that was specifically geared towards pregnant women suffering from SPD. That was a lucky find, though. Best of all were regular visits to an osteopath. She was amazing. Expensive, but definitely worth it.

My MW said that birth tends to be easier, but not necessarily less painful, for women with SPD because your joints are already loosey goosey, so more space for the baby to come through. I was repeatedly reminded to remind any hospital staff (planned HB, but just in case) that I had SPD and they had to be especially careful with me, especially if I ended up with an epidural.

My second pregnancy was not so badly affected, mild pain in my sacro-iliacs, but at least I could still walk around without having to rest and cry every 10 yards if I hadn't been to the osteopath that week.

Third time around, the easiest of all the pregnancies in terms of SPD. Not completely pain-free, but I am still on my bike at 33 weeks and taking my kids to the playground and stuff. I started seeing an osteopath this time at about 25 weeks for an unrelated issue (one leg falling asleep at night), and I think the few treatments I have had have also helped stabilize my pelvis.
post #18 of 19
Crunchymama thank you for asking...I am pretty miserable. I also feel it worst in my sacros but I also feel like I have been repeatively kicked in the crotch and my left groin. Is an osteopath like a physio? I saw my physio yesterday and she just did a lot of deep massage. It hurt terrible but when I left I could walk without my crutches. Today I am feeling the pain coming back. I also saw my OB and asked if they would induce me because I dont see how I can make it 5 more weeks. She said the soonest they would do it is 39 weeks but not a day sooner.
post #19 of 19

YOU GUYS!!!!! 

I am so sorry you are going through this. I have to tell you... I had this about a month ago... so severe I needed help just to get to the bathroom. I was in so much pain. On another site I was given some advise to get an IODINE suppliment. Liquid Dulse. It is suppose to regulate your hormones... which is the cause of the muscles and bones relaxing so much (too much) in your pelvis. I was skeptical but was willing to try anything!!! Along with CHiro care (and specifically Websters technique) I dove right in to liquid iodine 10 drops per day in water and chiro twice a week. I was better within 2 weeks.



Please try this!!


I was in so much pain I laid in bed bawling because i thought I would have to spend the rest of my pregnancy in that much pain. I couldn't handle it at all. And I am not one to even take a tylenol!!


I am 34 weeks today and still taking my iodine. By the end of the day I have some ache in my pelvis...when i get up from sitting or laying down... and i just work it out. Have an epsom bath at night and feel way better than I did last month.


Hope this helps someone!!!

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