A perineal compress is a compress, that will be either a hot compress or a cold compress, that is designed to be used on the perineum, which is the area between the genitals and the anus. A perineal compress can be used for a variety of reasons. For women who have been pregnant, a perineal compress is especially useful for helping with the pain and the swelling that will generally occur in the perineal area after a woman has given birth. Even if a woman has not had an episiotomy, the fact of the matter is that her perineal area will very likely be painful and swollen for some time after she gives birth to her baby. For men, a perineal compress might be used after he has had a vasectomy.
There are a variety of perineal compresses available for women postpartum. There are cold compresses, which are generally similar to an ice pack that you would use for an injury. These are shaped and sized to fit the perineal area, however. This type of perineal compress helps especially with swelling and pain relief, but may do little to actually soothe your perineum. For a more soothing approach, you might want to choose to use a hot perineal compress. This sort of compress is generally made with herbal leaves, such as lavender, peppermint and other herbs. The fresh leaves are boiled, and then used for a compress. Many women will choose to take the ingredients in their postpartum herbal bath and use those as the perineal compress.
There are other ways to soothe perineal pain and swelling after childbirth, as well. There are a variety of salves, balms, and sprays, all of which are designed for the postpartum experience. Many of these products also are based on herbal ingredients. You may find products like this that will have lavender, calendula, sea salt, comfrey, shepherd’s purse, uva ursi, and even ginger. If you would rather not use herbal leaves as your perineal compress, you could even use the sprays or other products alongside a cold perineal compress in order to relieve your perineal swelling and pain.
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