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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) Relief


Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction happens when the ligaments that keep your pubic bone and pelvis stable become overstretched and no longer stabilize your pelvis. Essentially, a structure that is designed to move very little begins to move a lot, and it can be very painful and difficult to move with ease. SPD is a condition that sometimes arises during pregnancy, though it can also first occur during labor and birth or in the postpartum period. Pelvic girdle pain in general is quite common during pregnancy—between 48% and 71% of women report feeling significant pelvic discomfort. About 30% of women report that the area of the pubic symphysis is painful.[1] While SPD does involve the pelvis and the integrity of the pelvic floor muscles, a general pelvic floor dysfunction treatment like kegels is often not the answer to symphysis pubis dysfunction.


The factors that predispose people to SPD are quite varied; however, the medical literature on symphysis pubis pain seems to agree that the hormone relaxin is not entirely to blame. Factors as different as hypermobility, bearing twins or other multiples, and a history of back pain can play a role in pubic symphysis pain during pregnancy. SPD usually resolves for most pregnant people after delivery, with most returning to normal function by 6-12 months postpartum. Rarely, some people find that SPD becomes a longer-term problem. Most people are able to have a vaginal birth even with pubic symphysis dysfunction—finding pain-free ranges of hip movement prior to labor can be helpful if such a delivery is in your birth plan.


[1] Pregnancy-related symphysis pubis dysfunction management and postpartum rehabilitation: two case reports Emily R. Howell, BPHE (Hons), DC, FCCPOR(C) (retrieved at


pelvic floor organs



Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Symptoms


If you’re concerned that you have pubic symphysis dysfunction, these symptoms may be present:


What Not to Do with Symphysis Pubis Pain


Stretching may feel good, but it ultimately will create more instability. Limit activities like:


What to Do with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction


Once you’ve checked in with your care provider, you can take some simple steps to manage SPD pain. Your goal when moving to relieve pain due to pubic symphysis dysfunction is to create more stability in the pelvis.



6 Best Exercises for Pubic Symphysis Stability


The kinds of exercises that will help with SPD pain are movements that help build strength and stability in the glutes and core. Here’s a great sequence for symphysis pubis pain. It’s also great for sacroiliac joint pain. Video:



[lauren-video-popup image=”7206″ link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhYrSDgAjII”]



With mindful movement and a more stable pelvis, SPD can be much less painful.