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Every pregnancy is associated with certain discomforts, which are not absent due to the major physical changes caused by pregnancy. Although you are happy to put up with these for your treasure, they can still affect your well-being quite a bit. We have compiled for you what exactly symphysis is and where the pain in the pelvis comes from.
What Exactly Is Symphysis?
A symphysis creates a connection between two bones through fibrocartilage. In terms of the human body, the symphysis is the pubic symphysis. It sits below the pubic bone and forms the anterior connection of the two halves of the pelvis. You can feel the cartilage-like connection under the mons pubis.
Many pregnant women experience pain at this point during movement, for example, when walking, climbing stairs, or turning over while lying down. Pressure on the symphysis can also be very uncomfortable.
Often, pain of the symphysis occurs in expectant mothers who have already given birth to one or more children. Often, these complaints begin in the second half of pregnancy.
In addition to the site of symphysis, the pain usually affects the entire area of the pelvis and hips. However, they can also radiate to the legs and back and be so severe that any movement is a pain.
In most cases, the complaints disappear again after the birth. However, some women still have problems with the pain after giving birth.
This Is Why Pain Occurs In The Symphysis During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the composition of hormones in the body changes. The pregnancy hormones cause the cartilage, tendons and ligaments in the pelvis to loosen and become softer than normal.
The gap of the symphysis is increased by 3-4 mm during pregnancy. This is also called symphysis loosening. Due to this, the pelvis widens in preparation for birth.
However, this ensures that the pelvic bones gain leeway and can shift during everyday movements. The pain occurs because these shifts cause traction on the sensitive periosteum.
This Helps Go Pain At The Symphysis
There are several ways to alleviate pain from symphysis loosening. On the one hand, it helps to avoid certain movements and on the other hand, it is possible that sports prevent the pain.
Relieve The Body
If the symphysis pubis area hurts, it makes sense to avoid heavy lifting and frequent stair climbing as much as possible. In addition, the symphysis can be relieved if straddling and scissor movements are refrained from. Sitting cross-legged and taking large dynamic steps are then better off taboo for the rest of the pregnancy.
All movements that hurt are best done as little as possible. Particularly jerky movements such as jumps and one-sided strains are also not a good idea. Protection and relief of the symphysis should be the first priority in case of discomfort. It is even possible that a doctor will write you up as unfit for work due to your complaints.
However, refraining from any kind of exercise is counterproductive and can increase the overall pain. For a relaxed sleep, pregnant women resort to a nursing pillow that they place between their legs and that relieves the pressure on their hips.
Pelvic Floor Training Can Help
The pelvic floor stabilizes the pelvis. Therefore, a well-trained pelvic floor can help relieve pelvic pain. There are a variety of pelvic floor exercises. Your midwife can show you gentle exercises that you can do without worrying during pregnancy.
A pelvic belt, which puts pressure on the pelvis and stabilizes it, can also relieve discomfort. Wearing such a belt will not harm the unborn child.
When Do I Need To See A Doctor?
If the discomfort is very severe, it is advisable to see a doctor to be prescribed special treatments. For example, it is possible to prescribe special physiotherapy treatments.
Painkillers, even if they are available over the counter, should never be taken during pregnancy without the advice of a doctor. If you have such pain that you are reluctant to give up painkillers, you should in any case seek the advice of a doctor.
Symphysis During And After Birth
If a pregnant woman suffers from symphysis pain, the birth can intensify it. During birth, the pelvis widens further and the symphysis also gives way. The supine position with legs apart can then be a very uncomfortable position for birth.
In such a case, the quadruped position is often the better position for the birth for those affected. The symphysis is only slightly stressed in this position.
After birth, women affected by symphysis pain are not immediately free of symptoms. Immediately after the birth, the discomfort may increase due to the stress of the birth.
After a few weeks, the discomfort should slowly subside. It can take six months for the tissue to return to its old structures and completely regress.
Not Only Pregnant Women Are Affected
More than 90% of those affected by symphysis loosening are pregnant women because the pubic symphysis dilates in preparation for childbirth. But women who are not pregnant and men can also suffer symphysis loosening.
For them, the discomfort often manifests after everyday mishaps. Examples include slipping, tripping or particularly wide and high jumps that have led to overloading of the body.
Loosening of the symphysis can also occur due to sports. Cyclists or riders are particularly often affected. The cause is often incorrect posture, which leads to incorrect or excessive strain on the symphysis. Or the complaints arise after a sports accident.
Basically, about 50% of all pregnant women are affected by pain due to loosened symphysis. However, this does not mean that the discomfort has to be so severe that it permanently restricts your everyday life. As individual as each pregnancy is, so different are the complaints caused by symphysis.