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Unfortunately, a few women do have pain for a long time after birth. However, they are in the minority, and the information in this website aims to improve your chances of making a speedy recovery.

 

Setbacks

From time to time you may find that you have a setback in your progress to recovery: a sudden return of pain or immobility. Usually this occurs because you have simply pushed yourself a little too hard, undertaken a particularly strenuous activity or simply contorted your body into an awkward position (playing on the climbing frame in the park seems to be a common culprit!). Sometimes there is no reason for the setback - it just happens. There is no need to panic - it does not mean that you have permanently damaged your pelvis or that you are back to square one on the road to recovery. If the problem does not settle within a couple of days, seek further treatment from a physiotherapist, osteopath or whoever you found helpful.

Future pregnancies

If you had PGP during one pregnancy, it is likely, although not inevitable, that it will recur in subsequent pregnancies. If left untreated, the physical symptoms can be more pronounced, i.e. it can appear earlier and be more painful. However, if you actively treat your PGP with physiotherapy from the start, you may find that your symptoms respond well and are less troublesome than before. You can proactively plan what assistance you are likely to need and arrange it in advance rather than reacting to emergencies. It is also worth considering how old your existing child/children will be when the new baby arrives and how independent they will be for nappies, walking etc, and how you will manage this during a pregnancy if you are not very mobile, as well as with a small baby.

There are no hard and fast rules on the time you should leave between pregnancies but, generally speaking, it is helpful to recover as best you can from one pregnancy before embarking on another. Good general fitness, a healthy diet and preconception pelvic stability exercises will give you the best possible chance of managing PGP well in a subsequent pregnancy. It is worth seeking treatment and advice as soon as you become pregnant again - actively keep your PGP at bay as long as possible rather than passively waiting to see if it recurs.

If you have had PGP it can seem that everyone has an opinion on whether or not you should have another baby. Whilst this concern is often well meaning, it is misplaced. Ultimately, the decision to have another child is yours and your partner’s only - nobody else counts. Remember that having a baby is not just about pregnancy, birth and the early months. Most women with PGP regain their mobility and function eventually; the memory of the pain and problems subsides but the joy of the child remains.

D&C

We have become aware of a number of women reporting increased pain or a recurrence of symptoms following gynaecological interventions such as a D&C. If you have to undergo something like this, make sure that the people caring for you are aware that you have, or have had, PGP, and they take care when placing you in stirrups or moving you while you are anaesthetised. You need to take the same kind of precautions as you would for birth and, again, make sure everyone is aware of your previous PGP, how badly affected you were, and how concerned you are about the possible consequences if this is not taken seriously. It is another situation where good communication beforehand can save a lot of pain afterwards.

Periods

When their periods restart, some women find that their PGP pain recurs. This seems to be due to the hormonal element of the condition. At present we are not aware of any solution, but it can help to use pain relief and avoid all the usual activities which you know will aggravate your pain. It may also be worth getting your pelvic alignment checked if this suddenly becomes a problem, as it may be that some minor alignment problem is aggravated by changes during your cycle.

Treatment

It is worth continuing with active treatment from whoever you have found to treat you effectively as long as you feel you are making progress. If you feel you are not progressing, review your treatment and investigate alternatives. Make decisions about what activities you want to do - you may have to make a choice about what you do knowing that the consequence will be that you will have increased pain for a while, but that this is manageable within your experience.

 
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