The Association Between Pelvic Girdle Pain and Pelvic Floor Muscle Function in Pregnancy

Int Urogynecol J. 2012 Jul;23(7):893-98. doi: 10.1007/s00192-011-1658-y. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Introduction and hypothesis: The aim of this study is to determine pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function in second trimester women with and without pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

Methods: Fifty-five pregnant women with and without PGP were recruited in the second trimester who met inclusion for self-reported pain. Vaginal examination was performed assessing superficial and deep PFM tenderness, contract/relax patterns, and muscle strength.

Results: Fifty-one patients (26 with PGP and 25 without) were included in the final analyses. Significantly more patients in the PGP group had bilateral levator ani and obturator internus tenderness compared with the no pain group (Fisher's exact test (FET) P < 0.001). No other significant group differences were found.

Conclusion: There is an association between PGP and deep but not superficial PFM tenderness in pregnancy. Lack of accompanying PFM dysfunction in PGP during pregnancy may reflect pain duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology*
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires