What is Jess Wright’s symphysis pubis dysfunction affecting 1 in 300 pregnancies

Reality TV star Jess Wright is expecting her first baby with husband William Lee-Kemp.

But her pregnancy hasn’t been a smooth ride.

The mum-to-be and ex-TOWIE star, 36, took to Instagram to express her thanks for fans’ love and support after sharing her struggles with pelvic pain.

Jess wrote: “A couple of weeks ago I was in heels in the sun loving life then boom another hump in the name of SPD.”

Symphysis pubis dysfunction affects one in 300 pregnancies. But what is it, and what can we do about it?

We've found all you need to know about the condition and how to feel a bit more comfortable until your baby makes its appearance.

What is SPD?

Symphysis pubis dysfunction – also known as pelvic girdle pain – is a group of symptoms that cause discomfort in the pelvic region.

It happens when your pelvic joints become stiff or move unevenly.

Simply put, an affected pregnant woman might feel pain at the front and back of their pelvis.

It’s sometimes so severe that you have to stay off your feet until you give birth.

But don’t worry – the condition won’t harm your baby.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the front centre of your pubic bone

  • Pain in your lower back on one or both sides

  • Pain in your perineum (the area between the anus and vagina)

  • Difficulty widening legs

The pain can sometimes travel to your thighs and you may also hear or feel a grinding or clicking sound in your pelvis.

Discomfort can be relieved with rest. You’re most likely to experience symptoms while walking, using stairs, turning over in bed and putting your weight on one leg.

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What’s the cause?

During pregnancy, hormones are released to loosen the muscles and ligaments around your body.

These include your hips, stomach, pelvic floor and pelvis.

The loosening helps to increase your range of motion in order to give birth.

But, it can make your joints unbalanced and more mobile which can cause pain – especially if the hormones are produced in early pregnancy.

SPD is also affected by your baby’s weight and position. As your baby grows, symptoms of SPD may worsen.

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Can it be treated?

Unfortunately, symptoms of SPD won’t go away completely until you give birth.

But there are lots of ways to find comfort. Try and avoid these activities:

  • Crossing your legs

  • Sitting on the floor or in a twisted position

  • Carrying a child on one hip

  • Lifting heavy loads (including toddlers) and pushing heavy objects

  • Hoovering

  • Sitting or standing for long periods

Besides lots of rest and safe painkillers, you might want to try physiotherapy or hydrotherapy.

Try a pelvic support belt to take the weight off your hips, and apply heat and cold to reduce pain and swelling.


Again, rest assured the condition doesn’t directly affect your baby.

But SPD might make your pregnancy more difficult because of your reduced mobility.

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