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 separate. This isn't a dangerous condition. But it can be painful.
You can feel the pubic symphysis by pressing on your lower front pelvic bone, just above your genital area. Your doctor or midwife can tell when it's separated or misaligned simply by pressing on it. During pregnancy and after childbirth, you might try lying back on your elbows and squeezing a pillow between your raised knees. This can help relieve pain and pressure for a while.
A separated pubic symphysis can take 3 to 8 months to heal on its own. For most women with this condition, pain lasts for about 2 months after childbirth.
During childbirth, pressure from the baby's head can fracture the tailbone (coccyx). A fractured tailbone can be very painful and symptoms may last for months. Treatment may include physical therapy, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology