The left and right bones of your pelvic girdle are joined at the
front by a narrow section of cartilage and ligament. This is called the pubic
symphysis, or symphysis pubis. As the pelvic bones loosen during pregnancy, the
pubic symphysis can temporarily separate. This is not a dangerous
condition. But it can be painful.
You can feel the pubic symphysis by pressing on your lower front
pelvic bone, just above your genital area. Your health professional can tell
when it is separated or misaligned simply by pressing on it. During pregnancy
and after childbirth, you can realign your pubic symphysis by lying back on
your elbows and squeezing a pillow between your raised knees. This is likely to
temporarily relieve pain and pressure.
A separated pubic symphysis can take 3 to 8 months to heal on its
own. For most women with this condition, pain or discomfort lingers for about 2
months after childbirth.
During childbirth, pressure from the baby's head can fracture the
coccyx, or tailbone. A fractured coccyx can be quite painful and symptoms can
take months to subside. Many women gain relief after about 2 months of physical
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and
ice. If your pain is severe and prolonged, talk to your health professional
about pain medicine.
November 2, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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