Document Detail

Sexuality in Nigerian pregnant women: perceptions and practice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8546646     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The sexual behaviour and beliefs of 440 pregnant women from South-eastern Nigeria were investigated. The mean frequency of sexual intercourse during pregnancy (1.5 times per week) was less than that before pregnancy (2.3 times per week). The husband was the main initiator of sexual activity (41.6%), while the wife only rarely did so (2.7%). 44.3% of the respondents believed that sexual intercourse during pregnancy widens the vagina and facilitates labour; 34.8% that it improves fetal well-being; 30.2% that it caused abortion in early pregnancy while 21.1% had no knowledge of any repercussions of sexual intercourse in pregnancy. Coitus during pregnancy was always painful in 22.7% of the respondents; was always gratifying in 46.1%; was functional in 49.3% and helped to keep the husband around, also in 49.3% of the respondents. The majority of the respondents (83.4%) considered that coitus should not be stopped during pregnancy. Whereas 19.3% of the respondents believed that sexual frequency should be increased during pregnancy, 73.9% considered otherwise, and 63.6% actually felt it should be reduced. Findings from this study suggest a 'mixed-feeling' effect with a tilt towards a positive attitude to sexuality in pregnancy. Restriction should not be imposed on sexual activity during a normal pregnancy to enhance marital harmony.
440 pregnant women attending the prenatal clinic of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital and Summit Specialist Hospital both in Nnewi, Anambra State of southeastern Nigeria were interviewed as to their sexual behavior and beliefs. The interviews were conducted by two trained nurses over a 10-month period. The respondents were predominantly primigravidas (33.4%) with a predominant age of 21 to 25 years (40.2%). The husband initiated sexual intercourse alone in 41.5% of the respondents, both partners did in 33.4%, and the wife alone in only 2.7%. The mean frequency of sexual intercourse during pregnancy was 1.5 times per week compared with 2.3 times per week before pregnancy (p = .05). 32.5% of the respondents had sexual intercourse 3 times a week before pregnancy vs. once a week during pregnancy (34.1%). 11.4% of them also abstained from coitus during the first trimester of pregnancy. 44.3% of respondents believed that sexual activity widens the vagina and facilitates labor, 34.8% believed that it improves overall fetal well-being, and 30.2% believed that it causes miscarriage in early pregnancy. Only 2.8% believed that it causes premature labor, while 21.1% did not know any consequences associated with sexual intercourse during pregnancy. 22.7% of the respondents stated that intercourse was always painful, while it was not for 53.9%. It was always gratifying for 46.1%, it was satisfactory for 49.3%, and helped keep the husband around for 49.3%. 83.4% of the respondents believed that sexual activity should be stopped during pregnancy. Only 19.3% thought that sexual activity should be increased during pregnancy, while 73.9% thought otherwise. In addition, 63% of them asserted that sex should be reduced during pregnancy. There was a definite trend toward a positive attitude concerning sexual activity during pregnancy, while other noncoital sexual outlets have also been suggested for maintaining marital harmony.
J I Adinma
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology     Volume:  35     ISSN:  0004-8666     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol     Publication Date:  1995 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-02-13     Completed Date:  1996-02-13     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0001027     Medline TA:  Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol     Country:  AUSTRALIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  290-3     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.
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MeSH Terms
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*

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