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Persistent pelvic girdle pain 12 years after delivery

Research project Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain PPGP is a common problem during pregnancy. Many women suffer from pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and experience, among other things, difficulties in performing normal daily activities. Additionally, some women appear to have a poor long-term prognosis and a paucity of evidence currently exists regarding the long-term consequences of PPGP after childbirth.

Although pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common complication in pregnancy, the underlying cause is still partially unknown. For some women, the problems persist after childbirth and thus constitute a significant health problem and socio-economic burden. Knowledge regarding long-term consequences and life situations for women with persistent PPGP is limited, and thus needs to be further studied. The overall purpose of the project is to study risk factors and long-term consequences of persistent PPGP 12 years after delivery.

Head of project

Cecilia Bergström
Staff scientist

Project overview

Project period:

2014-04-01 2016-11-30

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Clinical Sciences, Department of Nursing

Research area

Clinical medicine

Project description

Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) is a common complication during pregnancy. It is estimated that at least half of the pregnant women develop PPGP of varying severity during pregnancy, whereas 1/3 of the pregnant women develop a more pronounced form of PPGP with symptoms that negatively affect working life, lifestyle, and everyday life, and experience of pregnancy. The condition can appear early in pregnancy but usually worsens during the latter part of pregnancy. Although PPGP is the most common complication during pregnancy, the underlying cause of the problem is partly unknown. The risk of recurrent PPGP during the next pregnancy is about 85-90%.

Most women recover within 3 months after childbirth. The incidence of persistent PPGP after pregnancy is estimated to be 5–43% about 6 months after childbirth. However, the prognosis for the individual woman has proved difficult to determine with certainty based on the clinical picture at the end of the pregnancy.

The overall purpose of the project is to study risk factors for and long-term effects of persistent PPGP 12 years after delivery. The research project has the potential to contribute important new knowledge regarding the prevalence and disability of persistent PPGP and its long-term effects on general health and quality of life.

This is a long-term follow-up study based on a previous cross-sectional study where the primary data collection took place between 2002 and 2003 through three questionnaires that were distributed to patients. Based on data collected through the fourth questionnaire, additional data will be collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews. The qualitative results will help to elucidate and complement the findings in the quantitative studies in this project.

Latest update: 2022-05-25