The Oliver's Madhouse

When Life Isn't Complicated Enough

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)


This condition has now been in my life for approximately 3 years and it’s the one thing that reduces me to tears on a daily basis. I developed this condition in my second trimester of pregnancy with Joshua and throughout I was told this condition will rectify itself after birth.

My son is now nearly 21 months old and this condition is still with me and is more painful than ever with no signs of reprieve.

SPD is not only a pregnancy related condition it can be developed in men and women that have previously had a fall or damage to the pelvic area.  Although the majority of cases are brought on by pregnancy hormones, which work to loosen the ligament that holds the pubic bones together (Pubic Symphysis) in order to allow babys head to pass through the pelvis when giving birth.

In my case I had trauma to the pelvis a few years back along with extra weight before my pregnancy. That added to excessive weight gain throughout my pregnancy and the hormone changes in pregnancy .. bingo.. unstable pelvis at the sacroiliac joints and the Pubic Symphysis joint.

I was signed off work by my 7th month of pregnancy due to the condition as I worked at a desk all day and found it unbearable to sit for any length of time; I was having physio weekly and was advised that unless I gave up work and started to rest more I would damage my pelvis permanently.

I wore the pregnancy support belt I was given day and night along with 4 layers of bandaging I wore all the time to try and correct the instability in my pelvis. Nothing worked; I barely slept and was in constant pain.

After my son’s birth by elective section I was looking forward to the pain subsiding and for things to get back to normal but with each passing month my hope disappeared. I was informed by the physio at my local hospital that I needed physio 2-3 times per week but they could only fit me in once every 3-4 weeks.

Running out of options I visited a chiropractor and found this and acupuncture helped for the following 2 days after an appointment, but at a cost of £30 per visit and 1-2 visits per week we could only afford this for 6 months so I have now been without physio or a chiropractor for nearly 2 years

Joshua slept through the night from 5 weeks old and even now I do not sleep solidly through the night as I wake up 3-6 times a night with excruciating pain in one or both of my hips and or legs. My hips, pelvis and lower back all crack and crunch and I can feel both sides of my pelvis moving independently.

Last January I finally had my appointment come through after waiting months and months to see a specialist at the hospital.  On seeing the Consultant he sent me for X-rays and confirmed that I had this condition (really, I never would of guessed) and was told to lose some weight and once I am in my 40’s they would consider me for surgery (I am only 33 currently) He also told me that the surgery is not always effective and at only a 50% success rate it may not be worthwhile doing.

I feel like I have a body of a 90 year old and although I am doing everything I can to help myself I am increasingly disheartened and I am beginning to think things will never improve.

I do have incredibly low periods with this condition whereI can’t stand to keep taking all the pain killers but know if I don’t I could have days where I am in such immense pain it hurts to make any movement at all.

I took voluntary redundancy last year from work while on maternity leave as I knew that sitting at my desk will be excruciating and I would not of been able to maintain it in the long term. This does get me down thinking about the pain I will endure if and when I have to return back to work as some days I can’t even manage the most basic of household duties without bursting into tears.

I want to play with my kids; I want to carry out normal life without having to fit in things while I am having a good day.

Don’t get me wrong I know there are people out there that are far worse off than me and I try to think about this when I am getting down, although it doesn’t always work at keeping me positive.

I cannot tell you how debilitating this condition actually is, it affects every aspect of my life and that of my family. Maybe one day I will be old enough for the surgery and my health and quality of life will improve, until then I will continue down the weight loss route and keep taking the pain killers.

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