User Reviewed

How to Do Perineal Massage

Two Methods:Performing a Perineal Massage on YourselfHaving a Partner Perform a Perineal Massage

Perineal massage is a method performed to relax, and soften the perineum, the area between the vagina and the rectum. This practice is most often undertaken during the final six weeks of pregnancy, in order to alleviate tears to the perineum during childbirth and help prepare for the sensations experienced during childbirth. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of someone else performing the massage, you can do the massage yourself.

Method 1
Performing a Perineal Massage on Yourself

  1. 1
    Check with your healthcare provider before you begin. Perineal massages can be harmful is you use too much force, not enough lubricant, or perform them incorrectly. To be safe, speak with your doctor about your plans.[1]
  2. 2
    Sit in a warm bath for ten minutes. This may help you relax before the massage, and loosen up the muscles that surround your perineum. Try adding bath oils to soften your skin and calm your mind.[2]
  3. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 2
    Cut your fingernails short so that they can't scratch you. The tissues in your vagina and perineum are very delicate. Cutting your nails short will prevent tearing the skin or discomfort of the body.
  4. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 1
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You don’t want to introduce germs into the birth canal, so be sure to properly wash you hands before you begin.
  5. 5
    Get in a comfortable position. The best place to perform this massage is in bed. Prop yourself up with pillows to support your back, and bend your knees. You need to be relaxed during the massage, so it is important that you find a place that allows you to get comfortable.[3]
    • The massage can also be done sitting on the toilet with your legs elevated. [4]
  6. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 4
    Use a lubricant. You will need to lubricate your thumbs and the perineum tissues with a water-soluble lubricant. The best lubricants to use are vitamin E oil, almond oil or olive oil.[5]
  7. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 6
    Place your thumbs about 1inch inside your vagina. Rest your fingers on your buttocks. Press down towards the anus and to the sides of the vaginal wall. Hold your thumbs in this position for about one minute. You will begin to feel a slight burning or stretching sensation.[6]
    • Remember to keep breathing deeply throughout the massage.
    • Consciously relax your muscles if you feel a tense muscle.[7]
  8. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 7
    Gently massage the lower half of your vagina. Use a “U” shaped movement by going back and forth, and up and down. Try to relax your muscles while you are performing the massage. Perform this motion for two to three minutes.[8]
  9. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 8
    Repeat the massage. By the end, you should spend about 10 minutes on the massage. It may take up to several weeks of this daily massage before you notice that your perineal area has more elasticity.[9]
  10. 10
    Wash up. After the massage, you may way to take a shower, or bath, to wash off the lubricant.

Method 2
Having a Partner Perform a Perineal Massage

  1. 1
    Choose a trusted partner. An ideal partner choice for this intimate situation should be someone you can relax with such as a significant other or medical professional. You need to feel comfortable communicating during this massage, so keep that in mind.[10]
  2. 2
    Be prepared for emotional reactions. Even if your trusted intimate partner is doing the massage, you may have feelings of awkwardness and modesty. This is perfectly natural. Try to keep in mind that a perineal massage has the same goal as any other type of massage: to release tension, and in the case of childbirth, to alleviate discomfort for the mother.
  3. 3
    Communicate with your partner. Let your partner know if you experience any discomfort. It is normal to feel slight pressure and discomfort, but if there is too much, ask your partner to take a break, or ease up on the pressure.
  4. 4
    Get comfortable in a relaxed posture. You need to be able to relax your muscles, and be in a position where your legs can be open. Try laying on the bed with your knees bent, and use pillows to support your back. Your partner will be able to better perform the massage in this position.
  5. 5
    Have your partner prepare for the massage. Finger nails need to be trimmed, and hands needs to be washed before starting. If desired, your partner could put on latex gloves to wear during the massage to keep the area sanitized.
  6. 6
    Use a lubricant. Your partner will need to lubricate his or her hands and your perineum with a water-soluble lubricant. The best lubricants to use are vitamin E oil, almond oil or olive oil.[11]
  7. 7
    Begin by having your partner massage the area gently. Your partner should rub the outside area using his or her thumbs. Slow, back and forth motions on the outside area will help you both ease into the massage.[12]
    • Do this for one to two minutes.
  8. Image titled Do Perineal Massage Step 10
    Insert the index fingers. Your partner should use the index fingers instead of the thumbs to do the massage. Once inside, a “U” shaped, side-to-side motion is used along with downward pressure.[13]
    • Continue with this for about two to three minutes.
  9. 9
    Repeat the massage. For best results, this massage should be performed twice in one sitting. Try to perform the massage daily in the final six weeks leading up to your delivery.[14]
  10. 10
    Wash up. After the massage, you may way to take a shower or bath to wash off the lubricant.


  • Be sure to pull gently outward, and forward, as you massage. This will help the skin stretch.


  • Don’t use mineral oil as a lubricant; it can irritate delicate vaginal tissues.

Article Info

Categories: Spa Treatments & Massages