Meta analysis of 18 studies show that  Antenatal Perineal Massage can protect the perineum from injury

Title: Antenatal perineal massage - risk of perineal injuries, pain, urinary incontinence and dyspereunia - a systematic review

Childbirth may cause perineal damage like tears or an episiotomy. This review from Poland examined Antenatal Perineal Massage (APM), a practice that aims to minimize such injuries.

The study involved thorough examination of 18 articles from an initial 711, using databases like PubMed and Web of Science. 

This systematic review aimed to evaluate the impact of APM on perinatal perineal injuries and subsequent complications in postpartum women, such as pelvic pain, dyspareunia, urinary incontinence (UI), and fecal and gas incontinence (FI).

Results showed that APM, typically starting from the 34th week of pregnancy, helped reduce perineal injuries and decreased postpartum complications like pelvic discomfort and incontinence. However, approaches to APM varied across studies, affecting result consistency.

In conclusion, APM seems beneficial in protecting the perineum during childbirth and reduces postpartum complications. Standardizing APM practice could lead to more consistent results.

Citation: Milka W, Paradowska W, Kołomańska-Bogucka D, Mazur-Bialy AI. Antenatal perineal massage - risk of perineal injuries, pain, urinary incontinence and dyspereunia - a systematic review. J Gynecol Obstet Hum Reprod. 2023 Jul 4;52(8):102627. 

Link to the publication abstract


848 women study show that perineal massage and warm compresses are an effective strategy to protect the perineum during childbirth

Title: Enhancing Perineal Integrity During Labor Through Massage and Warm Compresses: A Promising Approach

The study aimed to evaluate the effect of perineal massage and warm compresses on the integrity of the perineum during the second stage of labor. A total of 848 women, who were 18 years or older and between 37 to 41 weeks pregnant, participated in this single-center, prospective, randomized controlled trial. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups: 424 women in the perineal massage and warm compresses group, and 424 in the control group.

The study found that the technique of perineal massage and warm compresses significantly increased the incidence of an intact perineum and reduced the incidence of second-degree tears, episiotomies, and obstetric anal sphincter injuries. The study concluded that this technique is feasible, inexpensive, and reproducible, and should be taught to midwives and made available as an option for women during labor.

Citation: Rodrigues S, Silva P, Rocha F, Monterroso L, Silva JN, de Sousa NQ, Escuriet R. Perineal massage and warm compresses - Randomised controlled trial for reduce perineal trauma during labor. Midwifery. 2023 Jun 15;124:103763.

Link to the publication abstract


Meta-analysis of fifty studies show perineal massage is associated with a lower risk of perineal lacerations: A study from Brazil

Title: The effectiveness of interventions in the prevention of perineal trauma in parturients: A systematic review with meta-analysis

This researchers from Brazil conducted a meta-analysis a total of fifty studies with a total of 17,221 participants. Their objective was to investigate the effectiveness of intervention to prevent the occurrence of perineal trauma in a woman during labour.

The researchers found no intervention done during childbirth to be effective for the prevention of perineal trauma when compared to no intervention. However, they found there was a lower risk of perineal tearing when doing various techniques during pregnancy, especially perineal massage compared to no intervention at all.

Citation: Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol . 2023 Feb 17;283:100-111

Link to the publication abstract

March 13, 2023