Objective: The sparse knowledge of the aetiology of pelvic pain in pregnancy makes evidence based prevention a limited option. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between pelvic pain in pregnancy and physical and psychosocial working conditions.
Methods: This study used self reported data on working conditions for 1219 cases and 1539 controls, sampled as a nested case-control study within the Danish national birth cohort. Cases and controls were selected on the basis of self reported pelvic pain intensity, pain localisation, and pain impact on daily living activities. Exposure data were collected prospectively; early in pregnancy and before the onset of pelvic pain. Main outcome measures were odds ratios for pelvic pain in pregnancy as a function of physical and psychosocial working conditions.
Results: Pregnant women with fixed evening work and with rotating shifts (without night shift) had odds ratios for pelvic pain in pregnancy of 1.76 (95% confidence intervals 1.04 to 2.96) and 1.65 (1.22 to 2.24), respectively, compared with women with day work. Physically strenuous work was associated with an almost 50% increased risk of pelvic pain in pregnancy (1.47; 1.17 to 1.84). In women who were under high psychosocial strain at work odds ratio was 1.39 (1.12 to 1.74) compared with women with low job strain.
Conclusion: Both physically and psychosocially demanding working conditions, measured by physically strenuous work, rotating shifts, and high job strain, are associated with an increased reporting of pelvic pain in pregnancy.
- work environment
- job strain
- pelvic pain
- pelvic girdle relaxation
- birth cohort
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