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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Jan;182(1 Pt 1):76-80.

Randomized trial of perineal massage during pregnancy: perineal symptoms three months after delivery.

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Department of Family Medicine and Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of perineal massage performed during pregnancy on perineal symptoms 3 months after delivery.


Pregnant women from 5 hospitals in the province of Quebec, Canada, participated in this single-blind, randomized, controlled trial. All participants received oral and written information on the prevention of perineal trauma. Women in the experimental group were taught the perineal massage technique and were asked to perform a 10-minute perineal massage daily from the 34th through 35th weeks of pregnancy until delivery. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire on perineal pain, dyspareunia, sexual satisfaction, and incontinence of urine, flatus, and stool at the time of enrollment and 3 months after delivery.


Among participants without a previous vaginal birth there were no differences between the massage (n = 283) and the control (n = 289) groups with respect to perineal pain, dyspareunia, sexual satisfaction, and incontinence of urine, gas, or stool 3 months post partum. Among women with a previous vaginal birth more women in the massage group (n = 187) than in the control group (n = 190) were free of perineal pain (93.6% vs 85.8%; P =.01) but the frequencies of dyspareunia and incontinence of urine, gas, or stool were similar in the 2 groups.


Perineal massage during pregnancy neither impairs nor substantially protects perineal function at 3 months post partum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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