Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD): Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Symphysis pubis dysfunction refers to the symptoms you experience when the joint between your right and left bones (pubic symphysis) allows for more movement than usual. It is the job of the ligament to hold the joint in place to prevent the pelvic bones from moving or shifting past the point of comfort. During pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes, these ligaments loosen, making the joint get more flexible enough for your pelvic bones to widen during delivery. All other movements in the pelvis can be painful. The pain tends to go away after you have had your baby.

Who Is Likely to Get Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?

Pregnant women are more prone to experience pain in this joint (symphysis pubis). Your pelvic area may hurt if you’re pregnant usually during your pregnancy, throughout labor, and even for a while after the baby is born. The pain you may experience can come from the back, front or both sides of your pelvis. In most cases, your pelvis may feel floppy and unstable.

However, being pregnant is not a need for this joint to hurt. Your pelvic bones may get jammed or dislocated around the joint area as a result of sports injuries. Because of osteoarthritis, the cartilage in this joint may eventually become less capable of supporting your pelvic bones. The joint can suffer from infections and inflammatory diseases like osteitis pubis. [1]

Symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction occur in about 30% of people who are pregnant. As more people have learned about this condition, the numbers of reported cases have gone up.