Background: In this prospective epidemiologic cohort study the aim was to identify possible risk factors for developing four different syndromes of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.
Methods: Over a one-year period a total of 2,269 consecutive pregnant women -- at week 33 of gestation -- responded to a structured questionnaire and underwent a thorough physical examination. Women who at baseline reported daily pain from pelvic joints and had corresponding objective findings were allocated, according to symptoms, into one of four classification groups, and followed up with questionnaires and physical examinations up to two years after delivery.
Results: Multivariate analysis could distinguish the four pelvic pain sub groups from the "Pelvic healthy" group with respect to 13 of 24 variables. The pelvic girdle syndrome group revealed a history of previous low back pain, trauma of the back or pelvis, multiparae, had a relatively higher weight, a higher level of self reported stress and of job At a higher risk of developing symphysiolysis were women who were multiparae, had a relatively higher weight, and were smokers. If a woman had vocational training or a professional education, was stressed, had a poorer experience of previous delivery, had previous low back pain, trauma of back, or previous salpingitis, she had an increased risk of developing one-sided sacroiliac syndrome. The risk factors for developing double-sided sacroiliac syndrome were previous low back pain and trauma of the back or pelvis, multiparae, poorer relationship with spouse, and less job satisfaction.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates no single dominant risk factor for developing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy, but reveals a set of physical and psychosocial factors. The risk factors for developing pelvic girdle pain in general are: history of previous low back pain, trauma of the back or pelvis, multivariate, higher level of stress, and low job satisfaction.