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 therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) , and ice. If your pain is severe and prolonged, talk to your health professional about pain medicine.
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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