Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the cumulative prevalence of low back pain (LBP), pelvic pain (PP), and lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy, including features possibly associated with development of pregnancy-related PP, in an unselected population of women.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in which all women giving birth at Stavanger University hospital in a 4-month period were asked to participate and to fill in a questionnaire on demographic features, pain, disability, and Oswestry Disability Index. Inclusion criteria were singleton pregnancy of at least 36 weeks and competence in the Norwegian language.
Results: Nearly 50% of the women experienced moderate and severe PP during pregnancy. Approximately 50% of them had PP syndrome, whereas the other half experienced lumbopelvic pain. Ten percent of the women experienced moderate and severe LBP alone. These pain syndromes increased sick leave and impaired general level of function during pregnancy. Approximately 50% of women with PP had pain in the area of the symphysis. The analysis of risk factors did not present a unidirectional and clear picture.
Conclusions: Pelvic pain in pregnant women is a health care challenge in which moderate and severe pain develops rather early and has important implications for society. The observed associations between possible causative factors and moderate and severe LBP and PP in this study may, together with results from other studies, bring some valuable insights into their multifactorial influences and provide background information for future studies.
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