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Symphysial pelvic dysfunction

Aslan, Erdogan; Fynes, Michelle

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: April 2007 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 133–139
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328034f138
Maternal-fetal medicine

Purpose of review Symphysial pelvic dysfunction is a condition which develops during pregnancy and may lead to significant morbidity affecting quality of life. While postpartum resolution is common, symptoms may persist for many years. The consequences, specifically disabling pain, are even more detrimental on mothers with a young family. This review summarizes current understanding of the condition, including pathogenesis, risk factors and management.

Recent findings There is no current international consensus on definition, diagnostic criteria, and treatment protocols for symphysial pelvic dysfunction. Discrepancy between the reported rates of prevalence stems from ambiguity in definition and inclusion criteria in reported studies. The pathogenesis of the condition is still unclear although numerous theories have been proposed. It is likely to be multifactorial in origin with multiple factors both biomechanical and genetic factors playing an important role. There is also a paucity of information in the literature about the best management strategy.

Summary There is an urgent need to standardize terminology and define diagnostic criteria for symphysial pelvic dysfunction in order to improve the management and better understand the pathophysiology of this condition.

Department of Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Reconstruction, St. George's Hospital, London, UK

Correspondence to Michelle Fynes, MD, MRCOG, DU, Consultant Urogynaecologist, Director of Unit, Department of Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Reconstruction, Lanesborough Wing, 4th Floor, St. George's Hospital, London, SW17 0QT UK Tel: +44 20 8725 1909; fax: +44 20 8725 1011; e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.