[Update on the effectiveness and evidence of ante-natal perineal massage]

An Sist Sanit Navar. 2021 Dec 27;44(3):437-444. doi: 10.23938/ASSN.0976.
[Article in Spanish]


The impact and morbidity generated by perineal trauma during vaginal delivery justifies the need to find strategies to minimize it. Ante-natal perineal massage (APM) is proposed as a technique that increases the elasticity of the perineum and that could reduce damage to the pelvic floor. This review set out to discover the effectiveness and the scientific evidence that supports this procedure. The Medline, Cochrane, Tripdatabase and Cuiden databases for the last six years were consulted, in Spanish and English. Ten studies with different levels of evidence were found. All of them favoured the use of this technique. Although further research is needed, evidence currently available suggests that the use of APM in late pregnancy could be an effective and safe procedure to reduce perineal trauma in childbirth, especially in primiparous women, and postpartum pain in multiparous women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Perineum*
  • Pregnancy