pregnant woman suffering from pain

Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your pelvic bones and rib cage open up slightly to allow for the expanding baby inside you. The placenta produces relaxin, a hormone that softens your ligaments and allows your joints to loosen. With all of these changes taking place in your body, it’s no wonder that nature has a few glitches. Twenty per cent of pregnant women will experience some degree of pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

What causes Pelvic Girdle Pain in pregnancy?
The exact cause of PGP in pregnancy is unknown. It is unclear whether too much relaxin is to blame, or whether it is simply that some women are less able to cope with their changing postures. The sooner that PGP is diagnosed, the better, as this will allow you to start treating it.

Symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain in pregnancy
PGP usually causes aches and pains in the general pelvic area. Hip pain, back pain and buttock pain can also be symptoms of this disorder. Some women described the symptoms as feeling like a pulled muscle or severe muscle ache. If you think you may be experiencing PGP, speak to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Treatment for Pelvic Girdle Pain in pregnancy
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be referred to a specialist for expert advice on how to deal with the discomfort caused by PGP. In the meantime, the following points may help you to manage any discomfort:

  • Wear flat, comfortable shoes
  • Ensure your back is well supported when sitting. A straight back is much better than a slump
  • Sleeping with a pillow between your knees may help to keep your pelvis correctly aligned in the night
  • If climbing the stairs is painful, try taking them one at a time
  • Don’t lift any heavy objects – unfortunately this includes toddlers who might be looking up at you wanting a cuddle
  • Don’t partake in any one sided activities such as vacuuming or decorating
  • Slow down. Taking your time getting into cars, walking to work and getting out of bed reduces the risk of causing further damage

Birth and Pelvic Girdle Pain
PGP should not affect the type of birth you have. Unless you have particularly severe PGP, you should be able to give birth naturally. You may find that a water birth provides extra support during labour, and takes pressure off your hips. Speak to your healthcare provider to see if a water birth is an option for you.

Most women find that the pain disappears straight after the birth. For a very small number of women, symptoms may persist. If you find you are still suffering in the weeks following the birth, speak to your healthcare provider.

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockPelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

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Brittany
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Brittany

Is it possible to have pgp at only 7 weeks? My left hip is killing me as is my back.

Meredith
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Meredith

I had this for most of the last of my second trimester and through most of the rest of my pregnancy. It was so bad that I couldn’t walk at all without severe pain. I had to go to physical therapy for sciatica pain and was given exercises to strengthen my muscles in the area. I had been doing yoga off and on for years which loosened already naturally loose ligaments. My dr told me that because of that, when the relaxin started it loosened my joints to an excessive degree. She was surprised about how bad it was.

Jana
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Jana

In my first pregnancy my hip pain started at 16 weeks and I was limping by 24 and barely able to walk near the end. I couldn’t sleep, sit for long periods or walk around. Very painful. I’m now in my 2 nd pregnancy and the hip pain started 5 days before I missed my period. It’s how I knew I was prego. I found a fantastic chiropractor and I’m also trying physio. Tried both last time but different people treat it differently. It’s generally miserable and this will most likely be my last baby due to the pain. I… Read more »

Amy
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Amy

I have scoliosis and experienced very bad lower back pain (starting in the 2nd trimester) this pregnancy, which was made worse by power-walking. At 31 weeks, I started doing prenatal aerobic, barre & strength training DVDs and these have helped my back pain significantly! I believe it’s because I’m strengthening my abs and stretching all my muscles. I also get a prenatal massage monthly, which is a great treat! 5.5 more weeks to go, so I’m hoping these exercises keep helping, so I can continue to work full-time and play with my 2-year old.

Jessica
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Jessica

Brittany, the exact same thing happened to me! It did go away after a week. It’s come back for a day or two at week 14, but went away. I found that not sleeping enough made e/t hurt. I can’t skimp sleep like before. I am wk 17 and feel a little stretching but that more severe pain hasn’t come back. I am not a doctor but I have found hearing other peoples experiences has helped me- especially when it gave me reassurance a pain would go away!

Jasmine
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Jasmine

I had PGP with my first pregnancy at 9 weeks and now have it serve with my 2nd pregnancy 17 weeks and have had it since day dot

Celena
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Celena

There is also a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction that causes severe pain in the pubic/hip regions. It was so bad with baby #3 that I had to wake my husband to have him move my legs when I wanted to roll over at night. The pain was horrible. I’m now 31 weeks with #4 and seeing a great chiro this time. Symptoms have been minimized thus far, but not alleviated. Hoping to make it to the end without the extreme pain like last time.

Brittany
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Brittany

I feel as if I have the same thing. My back, butt and hips hurt all the time. My hips do more during the night I wake up with a bad crampy feeling and have to toss and turn all hours. It’s very annoying and painful it just feel like a bad muscle cramp.

Laurie
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Laurie

I’ve had this with two pregnancies now so I wanted to comment my experience and research. Pelvic Girdle Pain is the new name for Symphisis Pubis Disorder (SPD). It does not just cause discomfort as the article states but can be so bad that women are bed ridden from excruciating pain. For me it mostly feels like someone has taken a soccer cleat and repeatedly stomped on my vagina and crotch, but there is also sharp pain throught my entire pelvis depending on what I’m doing, as well as a dull ache in my lower back and hips. With my… Read more »

Neria
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Neria

Thank you for this information, I have the same issue and I went to see my Dr Who made me feel like I was loosing my mind. Who took my symptoms like they were not that serious to the point of not advising me to stay at home. I’m so greatful for this article I don’t feel so stupid anymore.

Georgia
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Georgia

I guess this article is helpful to people that haven’t heard of it but someone reading it that actually suffers from this, it’s seems very played down lol! I am 33 weeks and have been suffering with this for at least a month now and it has just got worse. It feels like I’ve been kicked repeatedly in the pubic bone and like my actual pelvis is going to fall apart lol. (Best wash to describe the pain) I was referred to a physiotherapist about this problem last week and was given a support belt. Which helps some of the… Read more »

Joni Newland
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Joni Newland

It’s a comfort to see I’m not fussing for nothing! Im 28 weeks pregnant and 2 days ago started getting awful pulling cramp pains all along the bottom of bump from hip to hip. It’s agony on one side by hip bone and I’m kind of using my hands to support the weight of baby as I walk. Hope it eases up as 12 more weeks of this doesn’t thrill me

Rachael
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Rachael

@Brittany – yes, unfortunately it is possible. I’ve had it since week 5 and this is my first pregnancy. I’m now almost 18 weeks and doing everything I can to avoid the wheelchair and it’s working. All you can do is make sure you go to the physio asap and start treatment. Keep your muscles strong (light squats, clenching exercises while seated etc) and activated, and no sudden movements. Good luck.

Kati
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Kati

Osteopathic treatment helped me. At about 20 weeks, my hips were locked in the wrong position in three places, and the osteopath was able to unlock them and get them back in the right place again, with very gentle methods. At 31 weeks, I haven’t felt pain in weeks.

Stevie Llewellyn-Nash
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Stevie Llewellyn-Nash

I’m 31wks+2 and suffered from this since the second trimester with an already bad back this added to it makes it worse. I worked as a Carer and it became too much for me and very heavy so have been off work for two weeks but have had no choice but to have two more weeks off and I officially start my maternity leave on 3rd August. Luckily my manager has been very understanding about it and I’m hoping to have a water birth if all goes to plan.

camilla
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camilla

This is something I suffer from really badly during pregnancy. This time symptoms showed before I even knew I was pregnant. I agree with the lady that said it is down played. I’ve been on crutches now for 3 months and still have 2 to go. It was the same with baby #1 but there is good news as I had a home birth with #1 despite the pgp (spd). Congratulations to all the mummies out there 🙂

Sneha
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Sneha

M 31 week pregnant. .I waz suffering from high fever from last 4 5 dayz .N cough N cold as well bt nw fever is fyN N cold as well bt cough is too much bcz of ths near by my navel is too painful whenever I coughed t stretched too much…m taking steam ,nebulizer medicine bt all of thsee nt affected plz suggest me wt to do

Belen
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Belen

i’ve bern suffering from this for 10 days already and it’s really painfull. I cant almost walk and sitting in the couch or anywhere for a long period is not much better. Tomorrow i’m visiting a physiotherapist and I hope it gets a bit better. The thing that most worries me is that i always read that in the second pregnancy it starts much earlier and hurts even more 🙁 and as i see there isnt any treatment. What do you guys do to deal with this constant pain? Ive been resting at home for one week now and i… Read more »

M
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M

I have this since 4th month. Sometimes it’s so bad, that I can barly roll over in bed or get ot of bed. Walking is painful too. My pubic bone feels like it’s on fire. And the left hip hurts.
I have been to physiotherapist and it helped a ton! I got some exercises (kegels) to do and she put some kind of tapes on my pubic bone and legs and I’m almost pain free!!!
Good luck to all.
9weeks to go. Can’t wait

Loren
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Loren

I had this for a while because my baby was very low down in my pelvis and breech, but once she moved its much better

Kate
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Kate

I am currently 23 1/2 weeks and have been experiencing this since 18 weeks. I complained to the doctor who just told me to take paracetamol and as my midwife appointments are so sparse I’ve been left in sheer agony. Can’t turn in bed! Sitting, standing, lying down offers no relief. I struggle walking. It’s really uncomfortable pain which for me also spreads from front to back of the lady parts. I have my next midwife appointment in 5 weeks (last one was 16 weeks) so hopefully she can help me.

Jessy
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Jessy

I’m 7 weeks today and I get a pain in my lower groin, is that suppose to happen. Is that pgp? Or what. Ftm, and I’m freaking out lol.

Adebisi
Guest
Adebisi

Am currently 31weeks+ and the pains i go through is crazy, this is my 3rd pregnancy. I go through alot of stress literrally everyday, the struggle of taking care of 2 kids with a massive painful bump is crazy. I spoke to my midwife about it and she suggested i take tenenol which helps sometimes but the pains come back quickly

Natalia
Guest
Natalia

I’m 31 weeks pregnant and having been dealing with PRGP or PGP since being 18 weeks pregnant. My obs and midwife were able to offer me no relief however my physio is able to give me care and treatment which helps me deal with the pain immensely. If you’re suffering for PGP please seek treatment from a physio who is trained in helping pregnant women.

Portia
Guest
Portia

I have been diagnosed with this. I was referred to physio straight away by my midwife and I have been given a support belt which takes away pressure of the bump. I’m in agony walking anymore than ten minutes, getting in and out of a car/bed. If I lie down I need help as my back locks into a certain place and I can’t move. I take paracetamol every four hours it eases the pain for about half an hour then it all happens again. I have stopped working at the moment as my job is very strenuous. If you… Read more »

Kaie
Guest
Kaie

I had this with my eldest and now with my youngest at 32 weeks! The pain gets that severe that I can physically feel my bones moving and clicking. My pain has also caused a ligament to tear so an out of hours gp diagnosed me with some Pethedine (which is highly addictive therefor puts your baby at a slight risk) but after 2/3, my bones have really relaxed and I only really get the pain getting out of bed. I have been given a crutch though which helps out a lot! Especially the food shop lol. Also I ordered… Read more »

Samantha
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Samantha

I’m 31 weeks 2 days pregnant and I’ve been suffering this from 22 weeks which doctors treated me for infection to find out at 27 weeks I’ve got SPD/PGP, this is my 2nd child and I didn’t have any of this with my 1st somtimes I wish this pregnancy was pain free like with my 1st but they do say every pregnancy is different. I can’t walk with out being in pain and my pelvic clicks and grinds. I cry getting in and out of bed because I’m so much in pain and struggle (my 2 year old helped me… Read more »

Trini
Guest
Trini

Developed this at week 15…still another 12 weeks before baby is here.
SPD/PGP NEEDS to be brought up earlier, I had to fight to be taken seriously by my doctor….the amount of people who have never heard of the condition yet it is so common is surprising.
It is SO painful & stopped me from doing so much & I only have it mildly!
It also can lead to Depression due to the constant pain, so be aware of your mood ladies!

Jay
Guest
Jay

I was diagnosed with pelvic girdle pain around when I was 18 weeks, I’m now 31 weeks pregnant and still in alot of pain and discomfort. I had a couple of sessions physio which didn’t help in anyway. My midwife suggested that i saw someone that specific that deals with this particular condition, I saw someone which unfortunately I had to pay for who does ‘Bowen Technique’ if you have the money to try this I’d highly recommend it. From the first session I’m able to mobilise alot more freely without too much pain, I was advised after another 2… Read more »

Sue
Guest
Sue

I’ve had pelvic girdle pain since week 20, I’m now 31 weeks. My midwife referred me for acupuncture which is working wonders (I can actually fall asleep during the treatment). I also attend pregnancy yoga once a week which focuses on exercises to help.

Sim
Guest
Sim

I have had SPD for about 8 weeks and went to see a chiropractor who specialises in supporting pregnant women. After two sessions the pain has reduced significantly as my left pelvic needed realignment. It’s not cheap but worth it if you can afford it

Franki
Guest
Franki

Since being 19 weeks I have suffered from PGP . My midwife referred me to physiotherapy who specialises in pregnant women who suffer from pelvis and back pain. I was assessed had because I couldn’t walk it was decided that I needed a support belt to hold my pelvis together and crutches to help me walk. I’m now 31+2 and the pain is getting worse, everything I do I’m just in constant pain physio can’t do anymore to help me. Because I’m a larger lady with high BMI my consultant is considering indusing me early

Lyndsey
Guest
Lyndsey

I was told the pain I had in my pubic area and all the way around my legs/hips and bottom was PGP at 16 weeks but my 20 week scan nearly killed me. I could not walk afterwards. I was referred to a obstetrician physio and she used lots of manual manipulation around my hips to re-align my pelvis. I was told to Ice my pubic area when it became unbearable. I was also advised to take paracetamol leading up to an activity and afterwards to prevent some pain, but gave me some preventative excercises, directions for sitting/laying up and… Read more »

Ana
Guest
Ana

I’ve started having this pain since week 22 my OB said it was normal and to drink Tylenol to relieve the pain it helps a little. It gets worse at night when I try to get up for the bathroom it’s so hard I need to ask my busban for help. I’ve tried sleeping with a pillow between my legs no help I’m 31 weeks hopefully it doesn’t get worse.

Stacey
Guest
Stacey

I am 26 weeks pregnant and have suffered with this since around 12 weeks. This is my second pregnancy and the pain is much worse than I had with my first child. I have been seeing pyhsiotherapy regularly and have been referred to Hydrotherapy. As good as Hydro is, it’s only a temporary fixture, only helps when you’re in the pool. I struggle getting in and out of bed as when I lie down, I feel like my pelvis is going to snap in half. Going to back to Pyshio again to see what else they can offer to help… Read more »

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