Perineal massage during pregnancy: A prospective controlled trial

Elad Mei-dan, Asnat Walfisch, Iris Raz, Amalia Levy, Mordechai Hallak

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background: Women frequently suffer perineal trauma while giving birth. Interventions to increase the possibility for an intact perineum are needed. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of antenatal perineal massage in increasing the likelihood of delivering with an intact perineum. Methods: This single blinded prospective controlled trial included 234 nulliparous women with a singleton fetus. Women allocated to the study group were instructed to practice a 10 minute perineal massage daily from the 34th week of gestation until delivery. Primary outcome measures included the episiotomy rate; first, second, third and fourth-degree perineal tear rates; and intact perineum. Secondary outcomes were related to specific tear locations and the amount of suture material required for repair. Results: Episiotomy rates, overall spontaneous tears and intact perineum rates were similar in the study and control groups. Women in the massage group had slightly lower rates of first-degree tears (73.3% vs. 78.9%, P = 0.39) and slightly higher rates of second-degree tears (26.7% vs. 19.3%, P = 0.39), although both of these outcomes did not reach statistical significance. The rates of anterior perineal tears were significantly higher in the massage group (9.5% vs. 3%, P = 0.05), whereas internal lateral tears rates were slightly lower but without statistical significance (11.5% vs. 13.1%, P = 0.44). Conclusions: The practice of antenatal perineal massage showed neither a protective nor a detrimental significant effect on the occurrence of perineal trauma.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-502
    Number of pages4
    JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
    Volume10
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2008

    Keywords

    • Episiotomy
    • Massage
    • Oil
    • Perineum
    • Tear

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (all)

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