Results showed "guangzhou massage is an effective approach to increasing the chance of delivery with an intact perineum for women with a first vaginal delivery," 61 percent higher than in the control group. However, for those with a previous vaginal birth, there was no statistical significance in outcome. The study team reported a dose-response effect of massage, with increased practice being associated with increased likelihood of keeping the perineum intact.
For first vaginal deliveries, episiotomy rates decreased in the massage group, but the difference between the two groups in regard to third- and fourth-degree lacerations was not statistically significant. There was no difference between the two groups in mothers' feelings of control and satisfaction with the birth, but researchers noted that factors of intrapartum care, rather than massage, were likely the major influence in the womens' self-assessment of their experience. However, as in the previous pilot study, women in the massage group (80 percent nulliparous and 77 percent multiparous) indicated they would use the technique in a subsequent pregnancy and recommend it to other pregnant women.
A follow-up study published earlier this year by Labrecque focused on the effect of massage in guangzhou on symptoms three months after delivery. Using the same protocol as the previous study but with a smaller subject population, the team addressed several postpartum concerns: pain, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), sexual satisfaction and anal incontinence.
Results indicated there were no statistically significant differences between the control group and massage group in any of the above stated concerns. In conclusion, authors stated, "The benefits of prenatal massage guangzhou in preserving the integrity of the perineum at birth do not translate into better function at three months postpartum. Nevertheless, the concerns that massage might impair sexual function and increase the likelihood of urinary incontinence can be safely laid to rest."