How Long Does PGP Last After Pregnancy (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 to 6 weeks

PGP is an abbreviation used to connote the severe pelvic pain experienced by women during pregnancy. It stands for Pelvic Girdle Pain. It usually begins as a deep pain in the pubis and groin area. Some women also experience pain in their entire lower back region.

For some women, the pain is manageable as it is brought about by certain specific activities like walking, jogging, etc. By refraining from these activities, they can manage PGP. But for others, it can be extremely severe. It is then managed with physiotherapy and medications, coupled with bed rest. Usually, after the delivery, PGP starts declining.

How Long Does PGP Last After Pregnancy?

PGP is one of the most excruciating forms of pelvic pain a pregnant woman can experience. The pain remains quite sharp throughout the 9 months of the gestation period. However, it begins to fade away after the child is delivered.

The time taken for PGP to fade away after the pregnancy is over will be hinged on the severity of the pain experienced by the woman. If the pain has been mild over the course of the pregnancy, chances are that PGP will soon end. However, in extreme cases, it takes longer to return to normal.

After the pregnancy has ended, PGP usually starts declining within 2 weeks. Most women start feeling considerably better after the first few weeks of their pregnancies ending. However, in cases when the pain is extremely severe, it can last for up to 6 weeks after the delivery of the baby.

Moreover, different bodies will recuperate from the pregnancy differently. Thus, it is impossible to create a definitive time frame for PGP reduction. However, the 2 to 6-week window after pregnancy is the most common one used by doctors to treat patients with PGP.

Nonetheless, women are advised to remain off their feet and stay on complete bed rest after the delivery. This will help reduce the PGP and act as a catalyst for a faster bodily recovery. If the pain persists even after the upper limit of 6 weeks after the pregnancy then the individual must ask her GP to recommend a physiotherapist to help assuage the PGP better.

In Summary:

PGP TypeTime Frame of Relief After Pregnancy
Mild2 weeks
SevereUp to 6 weeks

Why Does PGP Last So Long After Pregnancy?

A pregnant woman’s body undergoes several hormonal changes both during as well as after the pregnancy ends. These hormonal changes are responsible for the continuation or termination of PGP right after the delivery of the child.

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Hormonal changes can have a significant role to play in collagen synthesis as well as soothing inflammatory processes. When the requisite hormones are produced in the right quantity they help assuage the PGP. If they are not produced in the required amounts, PGP can continue for long after the pregnancy.

Similarly, most women experience PGP for long durations after pregnancy because during the gestation period the head of the baby may be pressing on the ligaments of the pelvis. The stretching of these connective ligaments can cause severe, lasting pains. After the delivery, it takes them a considerable amount of time to return to their normal positions. Thus, PGP persists for longer than the average time frame.

Moreover, the pain can be aggravated further during childbirth itself, if the baby’s head presses on the pelvic bones, creating a painful gap between them. This gap may never fully be bridged even after the end of the pregnancy, but the PGP caused as a result of it does reduce with time, albeit, taking a long time to effectively decline.

In the meanwhile, the patient can consult her GP for ways of managing this pain. Restricting movement, bed rest, medications can help reduce it in its mild to moderate forms. However, if it persists for longer than 6 weeks, physiotherapy may be needed by the individual. Hormonal anti-inflammatory medicines are also prescribed to help manage the pain after the delivery.

Conclusion

PGP is experienced by most pregnant women. It is one of the top reasons for the restricted mobility in pregnant women. Activities like walking, climbing stairs, etc. can cause severe pelvic pain. There are several medical treatments used to manage PGP during pregnancy. In most cases, PGP declines after delivery.

In mild to moderate cases, PGP will start reducing within 2 weeks of the delivery. However, in more severe cases, it can take longer to effectively reduce. A maximum of 6 weeks of time can be needed after the end of the pregnancy to see a visible reduction. If the pain continues to last after this period, it can be serious.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/fulltext/2008/03010/physical_characteristics_of_women_with_severe.27.aspx
  2. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD012441/abstract
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