After Childbirth: Pelvic Bone Problems

Search Knowledgebase

Topic Contents

After Childbirth: Pelvic Bone Problems

Topic Overview

Separated pubic symphysis

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. Although this is not a dangerous condition, 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.

Fractured coccyx

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 physiotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and ice. If your pain is severe and prolonged, talk to your health professional about pain medication.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised February 18, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.