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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 May;32(4):353-6. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2011.652701.

Resumption of vaginal intercourse in the early postpartum period: determinants and considerations for child spacing in a Nigerian population.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria.


A total of 860 mothers were interviewed during their first postnatal clinic visit to determine the factors that influenced their resumption of sexual intercourse as well as their family planning practices in the early postpartum period. Some 255 (29.7%) women had resumed sexual intercourse with a mean delivery - resumption interval of 5.4 ± 2.6 weeks. Resumption of menses and HIV-negative status were the factors most significantly associated with resumption of sexual intercourse. Other significant determinants were urban residence and vaginal delivery without tears. Only 21.5% of the sexually active mothers used a modern contraceptive in the form of a male condom, while 56.9% did not consider contraception at all. The major reason for prolonged abstinence was fear of another pregnancy. In this group of women, child spacing appears to be the major consideration for resumption of coitus, even over the fear of painful discomfort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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