BACKGROUND: Low-back pain and pelvic pain (LBPP) is a common problem during pregnancy. The aim of the study is to investigate perceived health, sick leave, psychosocial situation, and sexual life among women experiencing LBPP during pregnancy. METHODS: All women who gave birth at one of two hospitals in northern Sweden from 1 January 2002 to 30 April 2002 were invited to complete a questionnaire on their obstetric history, pregnancy, and delivery. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed in order to calculate odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) where applicable. Pearson's chi-square test was performed where applicable. RESULTS: Most women were married or cohabiting (98%), and reported a 'very good' or 'good' partner relationship (96%) and a satisfying sexual life before pregnancy (91%). Only a few women reported perceived health as 'quite poor' or 'poor' before pregnancy (2%); however, this proportion increased during pregnancy (13%). In general, satisfying sexual life declined during pregnancy, which was also the case for the assessment of perceived health during pregnancy. Women with LBPP during pregnancy had an increased risk of reporting poor health (OR = 3.05, 95% CI = 1.70-5.46). Overall, 68% of women had been on sick leave, and 22% had received maternity allowance. Women with LBPP reported sick leave in 72% of the participants. CONCLUSIONS: LBPP demonstrates a negative impact on perceived health and sexual life during pregnancy. A great majority of pregnant women were on sick leave at some time during pregnancy. These consequences make LBPP a major public health issue.