Pelvic pain during pregnancy occurs in the pelvis joints and causes pain that may limit movement and impair walking ability. As your pregnancy moves into the later stages, the pelvic girdle prepares itself for childbirth. As a sign of this, you may start experiencing normal aches in your hips and the pelvic area.
Pelvic pain during pregnancy, also known as pelvic arthropathy, usually occurs as the first trimester ends or after you give birth. The bones of the pelvis are normally jointed in such a way that there is no movement allowed. However, women produce hormones during pregnancy that cause the cartilage in the pelvis to become softer, allowing movement in the bones.
It is also common for symptoms of this condition to manifest in the fourth and fifth months of pregnancy. Women who have experienced pelvic pain during pregnancy before are likely to experience it again in later pregnancies. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include:
- Pain in your groin and pubic area that often moves down the inside of your thighs
- A grinding sensation in the pubic area
- Pain becomes worse when your legs are apart or when walking, climbing or going down stairs, or tossing in bed.
Below are some tips to minimize pelvic pain during pregnancy:
- Limit your movement. It is possible that during the early part of the day you will not feel any pain while doing something but it may manifest in the evening or when you have gone to bed.
- Do not lift or push heavy objects. When grocery shopping, let someone else push the trolley as a simple task like this can be very painful.
- Go up or down stairs slowly a step at a time using your best leg first.
- Do not put on your undergarments, pants, or skirts while standing up but instead get dressed sitting down.
- Get adequate and regular rest. Sit as upright as you can and make sure to choose seats that support the back well.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy, apply heat to the areas where you feel pain. Sleeping with a soft pillow in between the knees can also help ease pain temporarily. Stabilize the hips by wearing a girdle or prenatal belt under the abdomen and around the hips. You might be tempted to take pain relievers but before you do so, make sure that you check with your doctor if it is safe.