Women with PGP are often offered induction in order to get rid of the pain through no longer being pregnant. However, this is based on the assumption that PGP will get better as soon as the baby is born and, as we know, this is very often not the case. Therefore, it is important to consider your reasons for induction, if it is being offered purely on PGP grounds. It is well known that induction contractions tend to feel stronger than those from spontaneous (natural) labour. Many women have reported that this feels very difficult to cope with on top of an unstable and painful pelvis.
If you are induced, you normally need to be monitored continuously, and in most hospitals this means that you cannot use a birthing pool (there are special waterproof leads which are now available to enable you to be monitored in water, which are increasingly widely available).
Research has shown that induction is more likely to lead to a ‘cascade of intervention’ such as more pain relief, an epidural, forceps/ventouse and eventually a caesarean section (see the NICE guidance on induction of labour).
At our Pelvic Partnership conference in 2005, Malcolm Griffiths, a consultant obstetrician, told us that for women who have already had a baby, induction at 38 weeks is likely to be successful but may have a longer latent phase (i.e. the time between the first and second stages of labour), especially if the cervix is not ‘ripe’ (soft and squashy and ready for birth). He found that in women having their first baby, especially if they were less than 41 weeks and if their cervix was not ‘ripe’, they had a 35% chance of needing an emergency caesarean section.
Experts in PGP therefore recommend that unless your cervix is ‘ripe’, induction is not the best option if it can be avoided. In fact, by waiting an extra couple of weeks, you have the opportunity for more manual therapy treatment on your pelvis, which may reduce the pain and improve your mobility, and therefore improve your birth experience, allowing you to make a quicker recovery after birth.
Content reviewed and updated in 2017.