Effects of SPD
Even mild symptoms of SPD can create difficulties with the most basic of day-to-day activities, especially when walking is painful. In some cases, walking aids such as crutches, a walking frame or a wheelchair may be necessary.
Women experiencing SPD often have difficulty looking after themselves (getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing etc.) and will need help with managing their household tasks and any children they may already have. This can put a strain on relationships as partners, family and friends learn to deal supportively with the sufferer and her family's change in circumstances.
As well as the physical limitations, the condition can have significant psychological effects. A woman with SPD can feel isolated and lonely, especially if she is housebound, and may feel resentful or guilty about her condition. It is often difficult for her to come to terms with the fact that she cannot cope alone when others around her are enjoying the positive experiences of pregnancy and having a new baby.
Many women feel betrayed by their own bodies and experience a sense of failure about their mothering ability. Added to this may be the temporary difficulty or impossibility of maintaining a sexual relationship with her partner, leading to further feelings of inadequacy and failure.
It is extremely important that everyone involved in caring for a woman with SPD is made aware of the limitations of her condition so that practical and emotional support can be given.