Can we find the perfect oil to protect the perineum? A randomized-controlled double-blind trial Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether perineal massage during the second stage of labor using oil enriched with vitamins, increases the chances of delivering with an intact perineum as compared to perineal massage using liquid wax (without additional vitamins). STUDY DESIGN: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was designed including 164 women undergoing vaginal deliveries between July 2008 and July 2009. Multiple gestations were excluded. Women were assigned to liquid wax (jojoba oil; n82) vs. purified formula of almond and olive oil, enriched with vitamin B1, B2, B6, E and fatty acids (n82). Power analysis revealed that a sample size of 75 patients in each group would be required to detect a two-fold significant difference in perineal tears between the groups, with 80% power and an alpha of 0.05. RESULTS: No significant differences regarding perineal lacerations, number of sutures and length of suturing were noted between the two groups. Likewise, while analyzing separately nulliparous and multiparous women, no significant differences were noted (Table). Controlling for birthweight �4000 grams, using the Mantel-Haenszel technique, no association was noted between perineal lacerations and the type of oil used (weighted OR0.9, 95% CI 0.3-2.4; P0.818). CONCLUSION: The type of oil used during the second stage of labor has no effect on the integrity of the perineum.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013