Massaging and stretching the perineum during the last few weeks of pregnancy can reduce the risk of severe perineal tearing during childbirth and complications afterward. Like any massage, oils or lubricants can make the process easier and more comfortable. However, not all oils suit this delicate part of the body. 

Read on, to learn about the best oils for perineal massage according to the advice of pelvic floor physical therapists, who are experts in preparing the musculoskeletal health of the female body for childbirth. 

Safe Oils To You Use for Perineal Massage?

The vital factor about perineal massage is that it is performed correctly and long enough for the skin cells to develop adequate stretch memory. Although perineal massage is not the most comfortable sensation, applying natural oil or lubricant to the perineum and thumbs can provide more ease and comfort to continue for longer. 

Plant-based oils like avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, and jojoba oil are all considered safe and effective for perineal massage. That said, extra virgin olive oil should be avoided to prevent skin irritation, and it’s wise to patch-test any plant-based oil to ensure it does not cause an allergic reaction on the skin around your perineum. 

According to pelvic floor physical therapist, Dr. Amanda Olson, one of the best and safest ‘oils’ you can use for perineal massage is a toxin-free, and fragrance-free water-based lubricant. 

Made with 100% natural ingredients, the Velvet Rose water-based, fragrance-free lubricant Dr. Olson developed for Intimate Rose is smooth, non-sticky, and perfect for perineal massage. It won’t cause skin irritation and supplements your body’s natural lubrication while maintaining a healthy vaginal pH balance.  

In addition to applying Velvet Rose Water-Based Lubricant for perineal massage, it’s also helpful to enhance sexual arousal, relieve vaginal dryness, and it can be used with a Pelvic Massage Wand for a deeper and more effective perineal massage.

Perineal Massage: Oils to Avoid

Using an oil or lubricant is essential to making a perineal massage more comfortable, however, not all oils or lubricants suit this sensitive part of the body. Fragranced oils, synthetic oils, or any oils with additives or preservatives, can irritate the sensitive skin around the perineum and vagina as well as disrupt healthy vaginal pH levels. 

The vaginal pH, which is mildly acidic and typically ranges from 3.8 – 5.0 maintains a healthy vaginal environment and prevents the onset of uncomfortable vaginal and urinary tract infections. Synthetic fragrances, additives, and preservatives, however, can alter vaginal pH levels and allow infections to set in more easily. 

Highly concentrated essential oils are considered too strong for the sensitive skin around the perineum and vagina, and using them for perineal massage will likely result in skin irritation and/or allergic reactions.  

Petroleum jelly, petroleum-based oils, or mineral oils are not suitable for perineal massage either. Instead of being absorbed by the skin as nourishment, these types of oils form a barrier on the skin, clogging the pores and increasing the risk of irritation and infection.

What Is a Pelvic Massage Wand? 

Pelvic massage wands are used to massage and release painful pelvic trigger points and relieve chronic pelvic pain. They are also designed to massage and soften tight scar tissue after pelvic surgeries or injuries.

After week 34 of pregnancy, pelvic massage wands can be used instead of the thumbs for perineal massage to reduce the risk of perineal tearing during childbirth. During postpartum delivery, gently massaging the perineum with a pelvic massage wand helps improve blood circulation and skin cell repair around perineal or episiotomy scars. 


Perineal massage is recommended after week 34 of pregnancy to reduce the risk of third and fourth-degree perineal tearing, as well as pelvic complications after vaginal childbirth. To ensure you perform perineal massage correctly and for long enough for it to be effective, pelvic floor physical therapists recommend using a 100% natural water-based lubricant or non-irritating plant-based oil for an easier and more comfortable massage. 

Water-based lubricants made with 100% natural ingredients are not known to cause irritation or skin reactions when used for perineal massage. While also natural and safe, the plant-based oils mentioned above can cause skin irritation for some people, so it’s always best to perform a patch test on the perineum first. 

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