The most beautiful phase of womanhood, is perhaps her pregnancy. It's an eternal bliss and no woman will disagree with this. Getting pregnant and giving the baby in the womb, its existence, completes her as a woman and gives meaning to her womanhood. Pregnancy is supposed to be the happiest time for an expecting mother; nevertheless it comes with the tag of various hormonal and physical changes that could be quite painful.
Pelvic and groin pain during pregnancy is the most common discomfort pregnant women experience, but the severity may vary. Since your body prepares and makes room for your baby to grow, certain pregnancy hormones like relaxin and progesterone are released. This is one of the symptoms of pregnancy and it facilitates easy delivery of the baby by increasing flexibility of the pubic bone. Sometimes, excess secretion of pregnancy hormones leads to misalignment of the pelvis causing pain.
Pelvis is a circular bone, the two halves of which almost meet in the front at the center creating a small gap as they do not touch each other. This area is a network of dense ligaments and is called the pubic symphysis. Hence, pelvic pain, in medical terms is referred to as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). A sharp or severe pelvic pain during pregnancy is referred to as Diastasis Symphysis Pubis (DSP) where the pubic symphysis widens too far or sometimes tears. However, this condition is very very rare.
Causes and Diagnosis
Not all women suffer from SPD. It differs from woman to woman and also differs in its intensity. It is basically to do with the imbalance of pelvic bone which causes pain. It feels like the pain one experiences on the 1st day of menstruation. It may also radiate to the buttocks, lower back, thighs and legs. It's important to differentiate between pelvic pain and back pain, during pregnancy. A simple pregnancy test during that time helps you have a clear picture and alerts you about the severity of your pain. It is called the posterior pelvic provocation test. There are certain self analyzing factors too.
Pain in the pelvic bone during pregnancy gives you a grinding and a clicking sensation in your pubic area. It basically disables your movement and worsens if activities involving separation of legs are done like climbing stairs, wearing pants, moving in your bed from one side to the other, getting in and out of the car, lifting, bending and so on. It normally occurs during the second trimester. During the third trimester, the pain may aggravate and that is because the baby's position now increases pressure on the pelvic muscle making you all the more uncomfortable. But, to lessen the discomfort, there are a few treatments given below along with a few self-help tips.
Pelvic pain is a good sign in a way, as it tells you that your body is preparing itself to help your baby slip out right through, without much difficulty. However, in case of severe pelvic pain one must see the obstetrician and ask for various treatment options. These include physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy. These alternatives are used in extreme cases, though. One must also follow certain self-help tips to reduce the pelvic pain.
- Identify what aggravates the pelvic pain and avoid doing those activities at once because more the pain flares up, the more time it will take to subside.
- Use a pillow under your knees while sleeping.
- Always sit while dressing up, especially when wearing bottom wears.
- Avoid lifting or pushing supermarket trolleys.
- Avoid the stairs whenever possible.
- Cover your car seat with plastic or satin to facilitate easy in and out of the car.
- Use satin or silk nighties to help you roll around in your bed.
- Have long warm water baths or use hot water bags or ice packs at the source of the pain (only after consulting your doctor).
- Move slowly and avoid abrupt movements.
- Use a pelvic support belt or prenatal belt to reduce pressure in the pelvic area.
- It is advisable to do some pregnancy exercises but not the vigorous ones and not the back exercises too. Simple pelvic exercises are advisable.
- Do not work continuously, take breaks.
- Sit correctly with a well supported back.
- Check your pregnancy diet, a traditional approach being inclusion of herbs in the diet so as to reduce the levels of pain. But it is strictly recommended that you consult a herb specialist since the quality of herbs differs.
- Acquaint yourself with the dos and donts of pregnancy and follow them religiously; you can't be running any risk.
Pelvic pain during pregnancy is just another sign, as your body prepares itself for pregnancy and you take your step towards being a new mommy. The pain will vanish at once when you hold the newborn in your arms. The joy of being a mother would only make you realize how small the pain was. The baby's very sight will make you forget all the pain...those tiny hands, the little feet and wriggly hair on that tiny head...awww...a memory to be cherished forever.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.