“I couldn't walk because pregnancy pelvic pain crippled me”

Feeling sharp, stabbing pain in your pelvic area with every move you make? You probably have symphysis pubis dysfunction.

“As a newly expectant mum, I was looking forward to experiencing so many things as soon as I confirmed my pregnancy. Most of all, I kept an eye out for the slightest hint of a baby bump and feeling my little one’s kicks.

Like most pregnant women, round-the-clock morning sickness plagued me during my first trimester. I constantly felt nauseous and pretty much miserable the entire time.

Every well-meaning friend and family member, my mum included, told me that it would pass and then I would enjoy my second and third trimester. True enough, the day I hit 12 weeks, my morning sickness vanished without a trace.

I was elated. I had read that the second trimester is usually the most rewarding and fun before reality (and unimaginable fatigue) sets in during the third tri. I was looking forward to keeping fit through prenatal Pilates and swimming, eating healthier since I no longer felt sick, plus nesting.

“I felt sharp pains running through my lower back and the back of my thighs. It felt like electric currents.”

Everything was going according to plan, until I felt sharp pains running through my lower back and the back of my thighs one day when I was five months pregnant. It felt like electric currents.

Having never experienced something like that before, and worried that something was wrong with my baby, my family rushed me to the emergency ward at the nearest hospital. After a thorough checkup, the doctor told me it was sciatica, a type of nerve pain, and that it was normal to experience different types of pain during pregnancy. It was in no way affecting my baby.

My doctor sent me on my way after giving me some painkillers, a referral to a physiotherapist and strict instructions to put my feet up.

Weekly physiotherapy sessions and taking it slow seemed to do the trick. The pain would come intermittently, but not with a vengeance like before. I felt good and was beginning to enjoy my pregnancy once again.

A few weeks later, when I had reached the six-month mark, I felt another kind of pain. This time, it was concentrated at my crotch area. It started out as a dull pain, so I thought it was just another type of pregnancy-related pain.

Over the next few days, the pain got more and more intense. It was worse when I tried to get up in the mornings. Just separating my legs as I got up send a searing sensation through my pelvic region.

I started doing some research. I Googled symptoms and spoke with friends who had been pregnant before. I was experiencing symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) ― or pelvic girdle pain ― and it was caused by the hormone relaxin my body was producing in preparation for birth.

The relaxin hormone is meant to loosen the ligaments around my pelvic area to make it easier for me to push my baby out. Sometimes, the body produces too much of the hormone, causing the pelvic area to become too “loose” and unstable. This subsequently causes pain when pressure is put on that area.

According to everything I’d read and everyone I’d spoken to, almost every pregnant woman experiences some kind of pelvic pain as she reaches her third trimester, though it’s usually manageable.

Deciding to not worry about it, I went about my day enduring the pain and hoping physiotherapy would ease the situation. Unfortunately, the pain did not get any better. It just got worse.

Find out what happened next…