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Pregnancy and Pelvic Girdle Pain & Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction

Many women when pregnant and possibly afert pregnancy, suffer from Pelvic Girldle Pain (PGP) or Pelvic Instability (PI) and Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction (PSD).

Pelvic Girdle Pain simply means pain in the pelvic region or pelvis. This doesn’t include the hips or Low back, however it’s not unusual to sometimes feel pain in these areas as a result of pelvic girdle pain.

Anatomy is like another language and can be confusing. Just remember one joint at the front and two joints at the back – your left and right SIJ’s.


PSD or SPD (sometimes they swap the words around) occurs when there is too much movement at thus Pubic Symphysis.

If you feel your pelvic bones around to the front, the pubic bone is the boney area at the very front of your pelvis, under your tummy & bladder.

The patient feels pain and discomfort at the front of the pelvis, where this joint is. Patients describe the pain as a heavy pain, shearing pain, difficulty walking, feel unstable, back pain, groin pain, hip pain, leg pain, or the joint feels like it is moving.

It’s important to remember that no two patients are the same.

Pelvic Instability is when the pelvis has too much movement through the front joint, the pubic symphysis or through the back joints called the Sacroilliac joints (SIJ’s). Pelvic Instability creates Pelvic girdle pain.

PSD is a form of Pelvic Instability and Pelvic Girdle Pain.

This instability is a result of hormonal changes when pregnant, the increase in Relaxin allows your ligaments to stretch (for child birth), however it allows these usually stable joints to move a lot more which can create pain and discomfort.

Education is important in relation to the management and treatment options for all types of Pelvic Girdle Pain.


Kate Round

This post was written by Dr Kate Locke.

You can find out more about Kate here.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please call the clinic on 03 9908 2844.

Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

Kate Locke has many years of experience and training in treating pregnant women with all sorts of pain, in particular what we’ve discussed today.

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