Hanover (dpa / tmn) - It pulls with every step: Some pregnant women can no longer walk without pain in the pubic area. The reason is usually a so-called loosening of the symphysis.

The good news: in the vast majority of cases, this is nothing to worry about. There is no risk to the baby, and usually the discomfort subsides soon after birth.

Nevertheless, the pain affects women who are affected. What helps? The most important questions and answers on the topic:

What exactly is loosening of the symphysis?

During pregnancy, hormones ensure that the connective tissue is loosened - and with it the symphysis and the iliac joints on the pelvic ring. This will make the pelvic ring more elastic in preparation for childbirth. In some women, however, this can also lead to painful loosening of the symphysis.

What are the symptoms?

Pain directly under the pubic mound - especially when running, climbing stairs and with various other loads. "Some pregnant women can no longer walk without pain," explains Christian Albring, a gynecologist based in Hanover and president of the professional association of gynecologists.

How is loosening of the symphysis treated?

Albring recommends that pregnant women take care of themselves. Physiotherapy can also help. The back and abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor are stabilized, as Prof. Hermann Locher explains. "In severe cases, the pelvic or symphysis belt helps," says the specialist for surgery and orthopedics and vice president of the German Society for Manual Medicine.

Is loosening the symphysis dangerous?

No, neither for the woman nor for the baby, says Locher. These are so-called functional complaints, which do not have a negative effect on the course of pregnancy or the development of the baby. Gynecologist Christian Albring also says: "There is no danger to the baby." However, a caesarean section may be necessary so that the symphysis does not tear.

Why don't some women and others get it?

This is due to the structure of the connective tissue and how much it is loosened by the hormones during pregnancy. Albring: "The phenomenon is somewhat more common in the second and third child because the symphysis is sometimes pre-stressed by the previous births."

How do you get rid of the pain?

The symptoms usually disappear on their own two weeks to three months after birth. In some cases, however, it takes longer.

What is a rupture of the symphysis?

This means tearing apart the fibrous cartilage. This usually happens in the event of an accident and, in very rare cases, also during childbirth. Albring describes the symptoms as being severe, stinging pain behind the pubic mound, which increases with every contraction. Standing and walking is very painful after the birth, even any change in the lying position.

The whole thing is usually treated by wearing a symphysis belt, Locher explains. There are also physiotherapy and relief. In very severe cases and if the pelvis remains unstable, the affected person must be operated on.

Practice Prof. Hermann Locher

German Society for Manual Medicine

Information for pregnant women from the professional association of gynecologists