What is Pelvic Pressure during Pregnancy?

(January 21, 2013)

Pregnancy is a time when significant changes take place in a woman’s body. It leads to numerous side effects and some of them can be quite discomforting. The body undergoes a great amount of strain as it must support the growth and development of the baby. There are also many hormonal changes that occur, and these can have different physiological effects. Pelvic pressure during pregnancy is a common side effect that many women experience during the course of those nine months.

Pelvic pressure is a sensation of heaviness and discomfort in the pelvic area. Pelvic pressure during pregnancy in the first trimester usually occurs due to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). The hormone relaxin is produced during pregnancy and this enables softening of the pelvic ligaments. This helps the pelvic bones to move and allow passage of the baby during delivery. This movement of the bones can cause pain and discomfort which is mainly centered on the pelvis and hips. It may also make walking and climbing difficult. This discomfort starts at the end of the first trimester or beginning of the second trimester. SPD may also cause a grinding sensation which may extend to the thighs. Pelvic pressure during pregnancy in the second trimester may increase especially during the middle part. Pain or aching in the pelvic region during this time is chiefly on account of the enlarging uterus. As the baby grows and develops, the uterus swells to a large extent and is unable to fit within the pelvic area. Thus the internal organs shift from their place and this exerts greater strain on the surrounding ligaments and muscles. The pregnancy hormones also continue to trigger changes in the body and this may also contribute to discomfort.

Pelvic pressure during pregnancy in the third trimester may occur due to lightening. This is when the baby moves into the pelvic area in preparation for birth. The baby’s head may press against the bladder, hips and pelvic and this can lead to pressure and pain. Extreme pelvic pressure during pregnancy may occur in the last couple of weeks, as the time for delivery approaches. In case of severe pain or other symptoms such as excessive bleeding and cramping, it is advisable to seek medical attention. To ease pelvic pressure during pregnancy, gentle pelvic exercises are recommended. Warm baths also help to relieve pain. Some women also obtain relief through prenatal massages.

Submitted by N H on January 21, 2013 at 05:00

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