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Postpartum Perineal Care

Postpartum Perineal Care Overview

The perineum is the anatomic area between the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder, and the anus. In women, the perineum includes the vaginal opening. This area undergoes a lot of stress and change during pregnancy and delivery, and it needs special care afterward.

Some women have a surgical cut called an episiotomy when they deliver a baby. It is sometimes done to speed up a delivery. An episiotomy is a clean cut, rather than a tear, so it may heal better. Sometimes the skin tears anyway and needs suturing.

Some women perform perineal massage during their pregnancy to try to prevent some of the pain and other problems after delivery. This method has not been shown to lessen or prevent any of the symptoms experienced after delivery.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pregnancy, Postpartum Infections »

Emergency physicians are increasingly concerned about postpartum patients who come to the ED with a fever or evidence of infection.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary