The use of cryotherapy after normal vaginal delivery has no effect on perineal pain or oedema, according to a study presented here at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
“It’s a little disappointing because we expected that the cryotherapy really could relieve pain and oedema, but it was not effective in our study,” said Antonio Henriques Franca Neto, MD, Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG), Campina Grande, Brazil.
The study included women who had vaginal deliveries of a single, full-term pregnancy with cephalic presentation. In the experimental group, they applied a crushed ice pack to the perineal region, reducing skin temperature to 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. In the sham group, they used a bag of water incapable of reducing skin temperature to this extent.
The groups did not differ significantly regarding perineal pain or oedema scores, or in the amount of analgesics used.
However, research for finding humanised pain reduction methods will continue, said Dr. Neto.
“We are interested in finding new, humanised ways to assist women and cryotherapy was one of the attempts,” he said. “But we use a lot of other things like warm baths and walking during the delivery.”
Dr. Neto noted that there is a big problem with assisting women during delivery in Brazil.
“In Brazil, people aren’t used to clarifying to women their rights,” he said. “Many times people are rude with the patients. We are trying to change this paradigm and introduce a new way to treat the women and also to be more effective in the culture of c-sections.”