Clinical publications about perineal massage

Publication Abstracts

We compiled a list of major clinical studies done about perineal massage and its potential benefits.

In all the studies perineal massage was done using the traditional technique (with the thumbs), not with the Perimom Perineal Massager.
The information is presented for informative purposes only.

Cochrane Review

A review of four trials with 2497 women showed that perineal massage, undertaken by the woman or her partner, reduced the likelihood of perineal trauma and ongoing perineal pain. The impact was clear for women who had not given birth vaginally before, but was less clear for women who had.

The authors recommend that:Antenatal digital perineal massage reduces the likelihood of perineal trauma (mainly episiotomies) and the reporting of ongoing perineal pain, and is generally well accepted by women. As such, women should be made aware of the likely benefit of perineal massage and provided with information on how to massage.


How to prevent and repair obstetric tears
The authors reviewed obstetric lacerations that are a common complication of vaginal delivery. They concluded that perineal massage in the third trimester can reduce lacerations in women who are pregnant for the first time.

41-article review of non-pharmacological techniques in pregnancy and childbirth
All the article showed a positive outcome such as reduction of time, anxiety and pelvic floor laceration rates when using non pharmacological techniques in pregnancy and in childbirth.


Effects of perineal preparation techniques on tissue extensibility and muscle strength: a pilot study.
The study found that instrument-assisted stretching and perineal massage both increase PFM extensibility and do not alter the muscle strength of PFMs in pregnant women.

Guidelines developed in accordance with the methods prescribed by the French Health Authority (HAS). 
The paper claims that perineal massage during pregnancy must be encouraged among women who want it. 


An 108-women study from Nigeria evaluates the effectiveness of perineal massage (APM) in reducing perineal trauma.
Perineal massage was shown to reduce the incidence of episiotomy and increase the chances of having an intact perineum after vaginal delivery.

A literature review from Brazil about reducing perineal trauma during labor
The authors of the study concluded that perineal massage by expecting mothers or their partners during the last part of pregnancy is recommended for perineal protection.


Irish and New Zealand Midwives' expertise at preserving the perineum intact: Perspectives on preparations for birth.
The study published in Widwivery included a total of twenty-one consenting midwives, seven from Ireland and 14 from New Zealand. Perineal massage during pregnancy was found to be beneficial to keeping the perineum in tact.

Influence of a pelvic floor training program to prevent perineal trauma: A quasi-randomised controlled trial from Spain.
The study with 466 pregnant women from Spain, published in Midwivery, found that preventing episiotomies and rips in first-time mothers may be as simple as doing pelvic floor exercises and perineal massage.