Background: Pelvic pain in pregnancy has been suggested to be more common in Scandinavia than in the rest of the world, to be culturally specific for the region and to reflect a change in attitude among pregnant women. Little is known of the prevalence of pelvic pain in pregnancy in low-income countries.
Objective: To explore whether perceived pelvic pain among pregnant women differs between affluent and poor societies.
Subjects and methods: Four observational studies, comprising a total of 752 women, were carried out in circumstances ranging from wealth to poverty, focusing on the reported prevalence, location and degree of pelvic pain in pregnancy. In Uppsala, Sweden, and in Rufiji, Tanzania, the women were interviewed in late pregnancy. In Jakobstad, Finland, and in Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar, the women were approached after delivery before discharge.
Results: The reported prevalence of pelvic pain in pregnancy was 49% in Uppsala and 66% in Rufiji, 77% in Jakobstad and 81% in Zanzibar, with an overall similarity of location and degree of pain.
Conclusion: No geographical differences were found in perceived pelvic pain among pregnant women, irrespective of the socio-economy of the countries.