Health, Lifestyle, Popular Stuff

What the hell is a perineum? And what is it FOR?

Shannon Kelly by Shannon Kelly
October 4th, 2019

If you’ve given birth you’ll probably know what a perineum is because you likely said several hundred prayers for it. No doubt it come under intense pressure as the baby attempted to exit you from a hole better suited to birthing a meerkat kitten. Crikey, your poor perineum might’ve ended up more torn that Natalie Imbruglia. I feel you.

If you don’t know what a perineum is, let me enlighten you: it’s the space between your anus and vulva/scrotum. Delightful!

So, is it just a handy little nook to store your chewing gum while you perform oral relations on your significant other? Yes and no. While it may look simple on the outside, below the surface it contains many important structures that give strength to the pelvic floor (the muscles that support organs in the pelvis). Your pelvic floor is your friend because it stops you tinkling down your leg when you put your slippers on. It also helps you avoid shitting yourself. Thanks pelvic floor – you’re the greatest.

A helpful diagram for you…

Given the perineum is the next door neighbour of the vagina, it’s no surprise it can tear during childbirth. Perineal tearing during birth is common; more than 8 out of 10 women will experience some sort of trauma. Yikes! The first thought may be: it ripped? RIPPED?! Is it lookin’ ramshackle down there?! But more seriously if the perineum cops a hammering during birth, it can cause pelvic floor issues which require care from your midwife, obstetrician, physiotherapist or continence specialist. Lots of midwives now recommend perineal massage during pregnancy to prepare your bikini zone for the oncoming battering. This involves greasing it up like a Christmas turkey and stretching/massaging the perineum and vaginal entrance. Sounds sexy!

Which brings us to the next point: the perineum is an erogenous zone. This means it has heightened sensitivity and can feel enjoyable when touched. Perhaps you’ve had a lover who had a bit of a fiddle down there and you assumed they were lost. Well, maybe they weren’t off-track; maybe they were just trying to explore this cheeky erogenous patch?! Or maybe they were just parking their chewing gum, I don’t know.

Yep, the ol’ perineum – who would’ve thought that inconspicuous patch of flesh could be so damn important? Bless it. Now, we could not examine the enchanting perineum without exploring the slang terms for it, so here we go: grundle; gooch; bonch; notcher; banus; choda; fleshy fun bridge; and (the classic) taint. Enjoy.

Sophie Cachia told us all about her first birth with her son, Bobby. You can listen below in pod form or head here to watch the vids. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast here for more interviews with glorious women.