Determinants of coital frequency and adaptations during pregnancy in a South-western Nigerian town
Keywords:Coitus, sexual intercourse, pregnancy adaptation, sexual dysfunction
Objective: To determine the trends in the frequency of coital intercourse in pregnancy, the factors responsible for these changes and adaptations by couples in Sagamu, Southwestern Nigeria.
Methods: This cross-sectional survey, examined the determinants of coital sexual frequency and adaptations for coitus in pregnancy among 364 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.
Results: Decline in coital frequency occurred in 51.3% of respondents; with increasing maternal age (p=0.016, 95% CI=0.013-0.017), monogamous marriage setting (p<0.001), duration of marriage (p<0.001) and lack of awareness of HIV status (p<0.001) having significant deterrent effects. Parity (p=0.355, 95% CI=0.3450.364) and co-habitation with spouse (p=0.094, 95%CI=0.088-0.099), however had no similar effect.
Although sexual dysfunction was observed (29.6% of respondents), this decline in frequency was caused mainly by uncomfortable position (51.7%). Consequently, the commonest change noted was a decreased use of the man-on-top position from 83.4% of the participants before pregnancy; to 32.7% during pregnancy. Most of the participants (76.6%) recommended continued coital activity in pregnancy.
Conclusion: Coital sexual decline in pregnancy observed in Sagamu is less prevalent than reported and physical discomfort is mainly responsible for this decline. Health care providers can help couples maintain positive sexual behaviour in pregnancy against STIs and HIV .