Medical Q&As

Pelvic pain during pregnancy - OK?

I am 22 weeks pregnant and for the last day or two my pelvic bone/groin area is sore as if it was bruised. Is this to be expected?

It is quite common for women to experience pain in the groin and pelvic area during the course of a pregnancy. This is partly due to the increasing size of the growing foetus and the associated increase in the weight and bulk of the expanding womb. This creates a mechanical pressure on the structures below in the pelvis and can give rise to stretching and pulling of various ligaments and muscles in the groin and pelvic area. There is also a chemical factor at work that results in the softening of ligaments and cartilage within the bony structure of the pelvis itself. This effect is caused by prostaglandin, which is one of the important hormones that are active during pregnancy. Prostaglandin softens the ligaments and cartilages in order to create a certain degree of elasticity in the interior of the pelvis, which constitutes the narrowest point in the birth canal. If that slight degree of elasticity were not present the labour could become obstructed since the baby could have difficulty in passing through a rigid non-elastic pelvis. Now I donít want to over exaggerate this point about elasticity because the degree of stretch is very small but at the same time such small degrees of stretching can be important. As a consequence of this hormonal effect some pregnant women can have pain in the lower back as well as the lower pelvic and groin areas.