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Effect of cryotherapy on relief of perineal pain after vaginal childbirth with episiotomy: a randomized and controlled clinical trial

Abstract

Objective

Verify the effectiveness of cryotherapy in relieving perineal pain in women after vaginal delivery with episiotomy.

Design

Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Setting

Reference Center of Women’s Health of Ribeirão Preto (MATER), in the state of São Paulo.

Participants

The study included 50 women who reported pain in the postpartum period following vaginal delivery with episiotomy.

Intervention

The women in the experimental group applied a bag of crushed ice to the perineal region for 20 minutes. Both groups were assessed before, immediately after removal of the ice bag, and one hour after cryotherapy treatment.

Main outcome measures

Complaint of pain was evaluated using a numerical pain assessment scale (0 to 10). Perineal temperature was also measured using an infrared thermometer, and the satisfaction of women undergoing the treatment was assessed using a questionnaire.

Results

Pain relief was verified for the experimental group compared to the control group in the second (immediately after use of cryotherapy) and third evaluations (one hour after cryotherapy). The temperature of the perineal region was found to be related to the intensity of pain, e.g. the lower the temperature provided by cryotherapy, the lower the woman’s complaint of pain. 88% of women reported being satisfied with the treatment.

Conclusion

After 20 minutes of application, cryotherapy was effective in relieving perineal pain in women in the immediate postpartum period after vaginal birth with episiotomy.

Trial registration number: ACTRN12613000052730.

Cite this article

Effect of cryotherapy on relief of perineal pain after vaginal childbirth with episiotomy: a randomized and controlled clinical trial.

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