Racial/ethnic variations in perineal length and association with perineal lacerations: A prospective cohort study

Amanda Yeaton-Massey, Luchin Wong, Teresa N. Sparks, Stephanie J. Handler, Michelle R. Meyer, Jesus M. Granados, Marina Stasenko, Anita Sit, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association between race/ethnicity, perineal length and the risk of perineal laceration. Methods: This is a prospective cohort study of a diverse group of women with singleton gestations in the third trimester of pregnancy. Perineal length was measured and mean values calculated for several racial/ethnic groups. Chi-squared analyses were used to examine rates of severe perineal laceration (third or fourth degree laceration) by race/ethnicity among women considered to have a short perineal length. Further, subgroup analyses were performed comparing nulliparas to multiparas. Results: Among 344 study participants, there was no statistically significant difference in mean perineal length by race/ethnicity (White 4.0±1.1cm, African-American 3.7±1.0cm, Latina 4.1±1.1cm, Asian 3.8±1.0cm, and other/unknown 4.0±0.9cm). Considering parity, more multiparous Asian and African-American women had a short perineal length (20.7 and 23.5%, respectively, p=0.05). Finally, the rate of severe perineal lacerations in our cohort was 2.6% overall, but was 8.2% among Asian women (p=0.04). Conclusions: We did not find a relationship between short perineal length and risk of severe perineal laceration with vaginal delivery, or a difference in mean perineal length by maternal race/ethnicity. However, we did find that women of different racial/ethnic groups have varying rates of severe perineal laceration, with Asian women comprising the highest proportion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-323
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Perineal laceration
  • Perineal length
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial/ethnic variations in perineal length and association with perineal lacerations: A prospective cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this