Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or SPD is one of the complications experienced during pregnancy. It occurs when the symphysis pubis joint becomes sufficiently relaxed to allow significant ‘gapping’ or instability in the pelvic girdle. In severe cases where the symphysis pubis partially or fully rupture, and the gap increases by more than 10mm, it is known as diastasis of the symphysis pubis (DSP). Pain is usually localized over the symphysis pubis with occasional grinding or audible clicking. Pain may also be felt in the groin and inner thighs. Activities such as walking, lifting and carrying items and getting in and out of the car may also be painful.

SPD is a result of a combination of factors:

  • an altered pelvic load,
  • hormonal and biochemical alterations causing ligament laxity and,
  • a weakening of pelvic and core musculature during pregnancy
  • leading to spino-pelvic instability.

This article, “What is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?“. expands with more information on SPD. A patient education brochure is available for download here.