• cryotherapy;
  • pain;
  • perineal management;
  • perineal trauma;
  • perineum;
  • postpartum period

Introduction: This study evaluated the effectiveness of an ice pack applied for 20 minutes to alleviate perineal pain after spontaneous vaginal birth.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial at the Amparo Maternal Birth Center in São Paulo, Brazil. Study participants included 114 nulliparous women divided into 3 groups (n = 38 per group): experimental (ice packs on the perineum), placebo (water packs at set temperature), and control (no treatment).

Results: A numerical scale (0 to 10) was used for pain assessment. A comparison of the average pain at the beginning and after 20 minutes showed a significant reduction of pain (P < .001) in the 3 groups, and the experimental group had a lower average score for pain compared with the control group (1.6 versus 3.3, P = .032).

Discussion: The use of ice packs for 20 minutes was effective for perineal pain relief after vaginal birth.