Friday, February 15, 2008


Has anyone ever heard of this? Because I have it, and it's not fun! It's caused by the increase in the hormone Relaxin that all women get during pregnancy.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

The symptoms of SPD vary from person to person, but almost all women who have it experience substantial pubic pain. Tenderness and pain down low in the front is common, but often this pain feels as if it's inside. The pubic area is generally very tender to the touch; many moms find it painful when the doctor or midwife pushes down on the pubic bone while measuring the uterus (fundal height).

Any activity that involves lifting one leg at a time or parting the legs tends to be particularly painful. Lifting the leg to put on clothes, getting out of a car, bending over, sitting down or getting up, walking up stairs, standing on one leg, lifting heavy objects, and walking in general tend to be difficult at times. Many women report that moving or turning over in bed is especially excruciating. One woman wrote, "There were days that I didn't think I was going to be able to get out of bed and actually had to roll out of bed and onto the floor to be able to do so!"

Many movements become difficult when the pubic symphysis area is affected. Although the greatest pain is associated with movements of lifting one leg or parting the legs, some women experience a 'freezing', where they get up out of bed and find it hard to get their bodies moving right away--the hip bone seems stuck in place and won't move at first. Or they describe having to wait for it to 'pop into place' before being able to walk. The range of hip movement is usually affected, and abduction of the hips especially painful.

Many women also report sciatica (pain that shoots down the buttocks and leg) when pubic pain is present. SPD can also also be associated with bladder dysfunction, especially when going from lying down (or squatting) to a standing position. Some women also feel a 'clicking' when they walk or shift just 'so', or lots of pressure down low near the pubic area.

Many women with SPD also report very strong round ligament pain (pulling or tearing feelings in the abdomen when rolling over, moving suddenly, sneezing, coughing, getting up, etc.). Some chiropractors feel that round ligament pain can be an early symptom of SPD problems, and indicate the need for adjustments. Other providers consider round ligament pain normal, part of the body adjusting to the growing uterus. If experienced with pubic and/or low back pain, it probably is associated with the SPD.

The doctor said to rest for a couple of weeks - meaning don't go to the gym - and see what happens. It seems, for me at least, to be aggravated by activity. I have many of the symptoms listed above although my case seems to be mild. I have pain, but am not tender to the touch and I don't have bladder dysfunction (thank goodness), but the stuff I do have is enough to make it difficult to move at times. I'm surprised I don't wake John up at night when I whimper as I turn over in bed. The doctor said it's like any other nagging injury, when it acts up it needs some rest. I can take Tylenol, and that's it because things like Advil and Aleve are not approved for use during pregnancy. Unfortunately they would help me more than Tylenol, but I'm S.O.L. in that case.

I'll put up my 24 week pictures this weekend.


Jenn said...

Mike Huntoon told me all about it when I had problems with my personal trainer last week. It can be pretty serious and it sounds like it is pretty painful. Just relax and pretend like Tylenol actually works and it might help. Also, Mikey told me for that kind of pain, it might help to relax in a bath (not a really hot one of course), but as hot as you can go with baby girl Dickey.

Anonymous said...

Sucky! Hope you feel better soon! Oh, and thanks for changing the other blog title ;-) I don't want to think there are problems with you or little Dickey!

Anonymous said...

how did i not know that you could leave a comment on these?!? i am a moron!! anyway, sorry you have to go through that, it doesnt sound like fun, although i am glad to hear that it is a mild case. i am in moncton, new brunswick right now or else i would call is freakin cold here!!! take care of yourself and i will call you in the next couple of days :) love you!