Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) - Causes & Treatment

14.01.2019 11:54

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) pain during pregnancy - Causes & treatment


The symphysis (also called the pubic symphysis) is the connection of the pubic bones through fibrocartilage. It gives the pelvis its stability.


Women may experience symphysis pain during pregnancy. In technical jargon this is referred to as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain. In preparation for childbirth hormonal changes occur in the body. They lead to stretching and loosening of connective tissue, muscles and pelvic floor. The growing baby additionally presses on the pelvis and symphysis. The pelvis loses stability and pain develops. If the symphysis loosens too much and the symphysis gap is widened by a few millimetres, this is called a pubic symphysis diastasis.


Symphysis pain often manifests itself directly on the symphysis and in the groin area. Yet, the pain can also radiate to other parts of the body, such as the sacrum, thighs, hips and lower back.

To prevent symphysis pain, weight gain during pregnancy should be kept in sight and an excessive increase in weight should be avoided. Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor, buttocks and back muscles are also useful. They relieve and stabilise the pubic symphysis.

If symphysis pain occurs, there are some helpful tips to relieve the pain:

  1. Take breaks: Take your pain seriously and take care of your body. Avoid physical activities such as climbing stairs or lifting.
  2. Relieve the symphysis: A pillow between the legs during sleep in a lateral position helps to relieve the symphysis.
  3. SPD support belt: A pregnancy belt (also called pregnancy bandage), e.g. our GraviBelt®, supports the back and lumbar spine and has a relieving effect. This can reduce symphysis pain. Note: The (post) pregnancy belt is also suitable for SPD pain and pubic symphysis diastasis after birth.
  4. Acupuncture: Targeted acupuncture can relieve pain. Talk to your doctor or midwife about it.
  5. Careful posture: Avoid overstretching your symphysis. Sitting cross-legged, doing splits and big steps are taboo!

A few weeks after birth, symphysis pain disappears in most women. Physical protection ranks first. Regression courses and physiotherapy support the regeneration process. If the pain does not improve after some time, ask your gynaecologist for advice.

By the way: In our Mrs med Shop you find aids for incontinence & pregnancy complaints (pregnancy belt).

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Do you also have to deal with varicose veins? In our article varicose veins during pregnancy you will find helpful tips to prevent the pain.