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HealthInfo Canterbury

What is a perineal tear and how do I prevent it?

Diagram showing the vagina, perineum, and anusYour perineum is the area between your vagina and anus (back passage or bottom). Many women tear their perineum during childbirth.

How to prevent a perineal tear

This information explains how to massage your perineum in the weeks leading up to your delivery to reduce the risk of it tearing.

Why does it happen to some women?

Often there's no clear reason for tearing. There's an increased risk for women who:

On the next page: Healing after a perineal tear

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by midwife liaison, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed June 2018.

Page reference: 77517

Review key: HIPTE-54082