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Perineal Analgesia With an Ice Pack After Spontaneous Vaginal Birth: A Randomized Controlled Trial


  • Lucila Coca Leventhal CNM, PhD,

  • Sonia Maria Junqueira Vasconcellos de Oliveira CNM, PhD,

  • Moacyr Roberto Cuce Nobre MD,

  • Flora Maria Barbosa da Silva CNM, MN

Address correspondence to Sonia Oliveira, CNM, PhD, Av. Dr. Eneas de Carvalho Aguiar, 419-CEP, 05403-000, Sao Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:


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.

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