Today I wanted to tackle a subject that keeps me up at night, causes me intense pain and has contributed to my penguin-like walk the last 8 weeks.
Meet SPD, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or what I lovingly describe as ‘a clamp on my lady bits’. My diagnoses came about after a weekend away in York when I was convinced I’d developed a water infection. Those telltale signs of pubic pain and the need to pee to relieve it had me downing water & cranberry juice just for some release. Unfortunately, the tactics that worked in my 20s were not helping so I waddled down to my GP. Well, she had a good old press on my pubic bone and with tears in my eyes and a scream (I’d been saving for labour) stuck in my throat, she proudly diagnosed me with SPD.
So what is this slightly disease sounding condition?
The Baby Centre Definition
SPD is thought to be caused by a combination of hormones that you produce during pregnancy, as well as the way your body moves. If one side of your pelvis moves more than the other when you walk or move around, the area around the symphysis pubis becomes tender.
Pain in the pubic area and groin are the most common symptoms, though you may also have the following signs:
– Back pain, pelvic girdle pain or hip pain
– A grinding or clicking sensation in your pubic area.
– Pain down the inside of your thighs or between your legs. It can be made worse by parting your legs, walking, going up or down stairs or moving around in bed.
– Worse pain at night. SPD can prevent you from sleeping well, Getting up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night can be especially painful.
The Baby Centre and NHS websites have some advice for easing the pain, however here are my top tips.
1. Keeping your legs together. I would bind my legs together Geisha style if I could, especially in bed at night. SPD is like a vampire, it really comes into its own in the evening, prowling and attacking your lower regions. Keeping my knees together when getting in and out of my car (think Princess Diana elegance) also keeps your face serene when the pain attacks.
2. Baths. Getting into a lovely bath is like finding water in the desert, instant relief. Be careful getting in and out and don’t overdo it on the smellies as that will cause another set of problems.
3. Tubigrip. Just when I thought my Support Knicker wearing days were on hold, my midwife pulls out a mummy like contraption. This bandage style fabric promises to offer discreet, warm and comfortable support to your tummy. It’s as discreet as your protruding tummy and as comfortable as your Bridget Jones’s, however it does help me getting around the office.
4. Pregnancy Ball. My previous social evenings have now been replaced by a hot pink pregnancy ball and my once sex life has been replaced with Pelvic floors. I’m hoping the hours I’m putting in now will reward me once Monkey comes out.
|USA Pro Ball from Sports Direct. £7.99 well spent|
5. Knowing my limits. My daily OCD house cleaning events are now limited to weekends and I’ve stopped dragging rails of clothing around the office. But I’m finding relying on other people highly frustrating and it’s an ongoing internal battle to stop and relax.
Failing all of the above (especially during that 3am need to get up to pee) I pray that a tough pregnancy = an easy labour x
Other Useful Links:
The Pelvic Partnership