I have symphysis pubis dysfuntion. Will I need a C-section?
Q: I've been disgnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction, which affects the pelvis, and I'm nervous about giving birth. I'm in pain most of the time and having problems going up and down stairs and even turning over in bed. I'm aslo worried my problems mig
Obstetrician Leonie says:
Symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD is a condition caused by relaxation of ligaments in the pelvis, probably due to hormones causing the pelvis to loosen up in preparation for giving birth.
SPD gets more common as a woman has more babies, but having a big baby doesn't increase your risk any more than having a smaller baby.
SPD can be extremely debilitating and unfortunately there is no treatment that will cure it during pregnancy. The best ways to help you cope include regular painkillers such as paracetamol, physiotherapy, supportive maternity belts and, in severe cases, crutches.
The most important thing to remember is that SPD does get better after the baby is born, with symptoms resolving within a few days in most women.
There is no evidence that giving birth naturally makes the symptoms worsen or get better more slowly. A Caesearean section isn't recommended unless the SPD is so severe that a woman's hips won't bend or there are other problems in the pregnancy.
Certain labour positions may aggravate the symptoms and you should discuss this with your midwife who'll suggest ways to make you more comfortable during labour.
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