Research: LABRECQUE and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 52


LABRECQUE and colleagues, Department of Family Medicine and Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada evaluated the effect of perineal massaged performed during pregnancy upon perineal symptoms 3 months following delivery.



: A total of 949 pregnant women from five hospitals in the Province of Quebec, Canada participated in this single-blind, randomized controlled trial. All participants were provided oral and written information regarding the prevention of perineal trauma. Women in the experimental group were taught the perineal massage technique and 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 regarding perineal pain, dyspareunia, sexual satisfaction and incontinence of urine, flatus, and stool at time of enrollment and 3 months following delivery.


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


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


Lbrecque M et al. Randomized trial of perineal massage during pregnancy: perineal symptoms three months after delivery. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 182(1 Pt 1): 76-80. Jan 2000.

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