June 20, 2024

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Pelvic pain in pregnancy: Causes, treatment and expert tips on when to seek help | Health

Pelvic pain is seen as a common issue that pregnant women experience ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain that can occur at various stages of pregnancy. Multiple causes can lead to the occurrence of pelvic pain including the stretching of the ligaments, hormonal imbalances, putting too much pressure on pelvic organs, excessive activity of the pubic symphysis, or stretching of the round ligaments supporting the uterus.

Pelvic pain in pregnancy: Causes, treatment and expert tips on when to seek help (Photo by The Mom Love Blog)
Pelvic pain in pregnancy: Causes, treatment and expert tips on when to seek help (Photo by The Mom Love Blog)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Nidhi Jha, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Rosewalk Healthcare in Delhi, shared, “While pelvic pain during pregnancy is common, there are instances when it may indicate a more serious problem. It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing severe or constant pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage as this could be a sign of preterm labor or other complications and require immediate medical attention. Additionally, pregnant women suffering from pelvic pain should seek help if they are experiencing difficulty in walking or performing daily activities, frequent fevers or chills or pain during urination or bowel movement, thereby, making it crucial to seek medical advice.”

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She added, “Pregnant women often face various physical and hormonal difficulties during the different stages of pregnancy, however, pelvic pain can be cured or treated with certain medications and therapies to alleviate the pain. These include resting and warm compresses, which reduce pain by helping muscles relax. Moreover, other treatments include physical therapy, pain medication, hydrotherapy, and pelvic support devices (maternity belts or pelvic support bands). Needless to say, pregnant women should first consult their gynaecologist to effectively diagnose and treat the sinister causes of pelvic pain. He/she can help in identifying mild causes and address these immediately in order to reduce the pain significantly.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Anilasre Atluri, M.S.(OBG), FMAS, DMAS, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Apollo Spectra Hospital in Chennai, said, “Pelvic pain in pregnancy is experienced by most of the expecting mothers- ranging from mild to debilitating. Pregnant women can experience pain in their pelvic joints, specifically the lower back, groin, hips and thighs. To avoid the discomfort and know the treatment options, it is important to understand what are the causes of the pelvic pain during pregnancy. With the secretion of the hormone, relaxin, softening of ligaments occur, making bones to move easily and putting pressure onto surrounding muscles and nerves. Additionally due to the stretch of ligaments caused by expanding uterus to accommodate the growing baby. Increase in weight and shift in gravity can also contribute to pain. This can be called pelvic girdle pain. It can increase with walking, climbing stairs, turning in bed from side to side.”

According to her, the other causes like uterine contractions, vaginal infections and urinary infections, labour pains, miscarriage, ruptured ovarian cysts etc can also contribute to pelvic pain. Talking about pain management, Dr Anilasre Atluri said that it is very important to find the cause and address it as early as possible as pregnancy may compromise the inherent stability of bones and ligaments in the pelvis, requiring a pregnant woman to follow these treatment options to ease the pain. She advised:

  • Regular exercises along with taking adequate rest to maintain stability of the joints.
  • Hot and cold therapy to relax muscles and de-stress.
  • Take massages to reduce stress and soothe the pain.
  • Avoid high heels and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Maternity support belts or bands can help stabilize the pelvis and reduce discomfort.

Suggesting to be on the safe side and consult your doctor, Dr Anilasre Atluri advised to seek help from a doctor if you experience these unusual signs:

  • Consistent pain and doesn’t go with the rest
  • Fever or chills along with pain.
  • Unusual bleeding or greenish, watery discharge.
  • Persistently feeling nauseous or dizzy.
  • Burning sensation when you urinate.

She concluded, “Pelvic pain during pregnancy is a common yet manageable concern. However, it is crucial to understand its causes and know when to consult a medical expert to prioritize their health and well-being, ensuring a comfortable pregnancy experience for themselves and their babies.”