PGP is used to describe pain experienced in the front and back of your pelvis (you may have previously heard the term symphysis pubis dysfunction [SPD} used; however, PGP is now the accepted name for this condition).

Pregnancy-related PGP is common. The sooner it is identified and assessed, the better it can be managed. Around 1 in 5 pregnant women experiences mild discomfort in the back or front of the pelvis during pregnancy. If you have symptoms that do not improve within a week or two, or interfere with your normal day-to-day life, you may have PGP and should ask for help from your midwife, GP, physiotherapist or other health carer.

Symptoms of PGP include:

  • discomfort felt over the pubic bone at the front, below your tummy, or across one side of your lower back, or both sides.
  • difficulty walking
  • pain when standing on one leg (e.g. climbing stairs, dressing, or getting in or out of the bath)
  • pain and/or difficulty moving your legs apart (e.g. getting in or out of the car)
  • clicking or grinding in the pelvic area – you may hear or feel this
  • limited or painful hip movements (e.g. turning over in bed)
  • difficulty lying in some positions (e.g. on your back or side)
  • pain during normal activities of daily life
  • pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse

With PGP, the degree of discomfort you are feeling may vary from being intermittent and irritating to being very wearing and upsetting.

What causes PGP?

Sometimes there is no obvious explanation for the cause of PGP. Usually, there is a combination of factors causing PGP including:

  • the pelvic girdle joints moving unevenly 
  • a change in the activity of the muscles of your tummy, pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor, which can lead to the pelvic girdle becoming less stable and therefore painful
  • a previous fall or accident that has damaged your pelvis
  • a small number of women may have pain in the pelvic joints caused by hormones
  • occasionally, the position of the baby may produce symptoms related to PGP.

For more details, the POGP have pulled together a full guide here

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