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Frequency, perceptions and complications of sexual activity during pregnancy among a group of Nigerian women

Journal: International Archives of Integrated Medicine (IAIM) (Vol.2, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 54-63

Keywords : Pregnancy; Sexual intercourse; Sexual positions; Perception; Nigeria.;

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Background: Hormonal, emotional and physical changes that occur in pregnancy as well as cultural influences in our society may impact on women’s sexual responses and influence their sexual practices and perceptions regarding sexual intercourse during pregnancy. Aim: This study was undertaken to evaluate the frequency, practices, perceptions and safety of sexual intercourse during pregnancy among pregnant women in Jos, Nigeria. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 204 healthy pregnant women at term over a 6-month period. They anonymously completed self-administered questionnaires regarding sexual activities during pregnancy. Data collected included coital frequency, perceptions and concerns of sexual intercourse during pregnancy, its benefits and problems encountered. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 16. Descriptive statistics was performed and chi square test was used to ascertain associations between categorical variables. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: All women were sexually active throughout pregnancy but with overall decrease coital frequency compared to the pre-pregnancy period. Most adopted sexual positions included side-by-side, man on top and rear positions. Advanced maternal age > 35 years (P = 0.67, OR 1.19, 95% CI 0.54 ? 2.65), primigravidity (P = 0.52, OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.40 ? 1.60) and nulliparity (P = 0.60, OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.43 ? 1.62) had no influence on coital frequency. More than 90.0% of them opined that sex during pregnancy is safe and beneficial including widening of the birth canal, maintenance of emotional attachment between couples, satisfaction of sexual desire and prevention of spousal infidelity. Only 32 (15.7%) of the women developed transient sexual problems including vaginal bleeding and discharge, soreness/pain in the vagina and abdominal pain. Conclusion: There was an observed decrease coital frequency among pregnant women in this study, nevertheless many still have positive attitude towards it, albeit with few misconceptions. Hence, Health providers should include sex education into antenatal care programs so as to dispel fears and clear these sexual misconceptions.

Last modified: 2015-06-25 17:42:37