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Pubic Symphysis ("crotch") Pain During & After Pregnancy

Posted by Jesse Lillejord on

Pubic Symphysis (“crotch”) Pain During & After Pregnancy

Did you ever experience the excruciatingly painful pain just below your belly?  Or felt like your lady parts were going to fall out entirely due to the pressure and pain?

This is all due to the changing biomechanics and expansive nature of pregnancy.  Not only is belly getting bigger, but ligaments holding your pelvis together are relaxing and allowing for more movement (which is both good and bad).

When these ligaments relax, specifically the ones in the front holding your pubic symphysis together, you can experience a tremendous amount of pain in that area specifically.

Your pubic symphysis isn’t a very large area.  It’s just two relatively small bones connected by ligaments / soft tissue.  This small area is in your “crotch”/ vaginal area.  And this small area takes a lot of the load of your baby during pregnancy.  So it makes sense that this area becomes painful during this time in your life.

What are other associated types of pain with regard to pubic symphysis pain?

- back pain (at the back of your pelvis, even into your hip with possible referral into your legs)
- “clicking” or “grinding” feeling in your pubic area
- pain that’s worse at night and makes sleeping difficult
- pain with moving up and down from a squatting position (specifically going to the bathroom)
- pain moving up and down stairs
- pain with parting your legs or walking
- pain down the inside of your thighs (groin region)

When will you experience this pain?

You may experience this type of pain at any point during your pregnancy.  You may even experience it after giving birth.  Don’t forget, your body is constantly shifting during AND after pregnancy.  I tell my mamas to give themselves time and grace with the pain.  To understand that the body takes a long time to heal and shift back into its pre-baby state.  But in saying that, you don’t have to live in a constant state of pain.  There are options out there and you need not be afraid to ask for help.

How do you treat / alleviate this pain?

- chiropractic care is incredibly beneficial for this type of pain because it moves your joints into proper position to alleviate pain and remove pressure from the painful joints
- strengthening exercises to strengthen your spinal, abdominal, pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor muscles (your chiropractor can help guide your exercises and offer hands-on guidance)
- physical therapy / occupational therapy to advise you on how to perform your activities of daily living with less pain and more ease
- acupuncture may help reduce pain and swelling
- pregnancy belt (a strong and durable one for good support) to hold your joints in place and relieve pressure and pain

In all of this, the take home message is to ask for help and not wait too long with a tremendous amount of pain.  There are helpful options out there.


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