Pubic symphysis or groin pain in pregnancy

Pubic symphysis or groin pain is very common in pregnancy and happens due to increased load from the growing  baby and relaxin hormone increasing in the body at the end of the 1st ( around week 13) end of the second trimester (around week 26) and towards the end of pregnancy. 

Relaxin prepares the body for birth through loosening the ligaments but it also makes the joints more unstable and prone to injury. This happens particularly in the pelvis region and at the groin where the 2 pubic bones meet in the centre.
What can you do about it ? 
The muscles that stabilise your pelvic girdle are your deep abdominal core muscles, your glut max muscles and your abductors. 
Sometime the way you move and carry yourself weakens the abdominals and overactives the inner thigh muscles or adductors. This can cause the pain. Learning to engage your core and gluts in activities such as sit to stand, steps, rolling, walking can reduce the pain. Releasing or massaging the inner thigh muscles can be a big help. Getting some physio to balance out your pelvis so that certain muscles groups arent overworking will also help. A pregnancy belt is often helpful. Learning to gently stretch your inner thighs can be a saver.

Here is a gentle stretch you can do at home if you are sore. Make sure you follow that up with some stability exercises from a physio.

  • Find a wall or benchtop
  • Push your hips towards the back wall while straightening your spine
  • Keep your knees straight
  • Gently move your hips side to side as you lengthen your tailbone away from you. Hold for 4 deep breaths each side

Stacey Ly 

Womens health physio and 

expert in ante-natal and post natal recovery