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Correlates of postpartum sexual activity and contraceptive use in Kano, northern Nigeria

Zubairu Iliyasu
Hadiza S. Galadanci
Khadija M. Danlami
Hamisu M. Salihu
Muktar H. Aliyu


Practices related to resumption of coitus after childbirth remains poorly documented in Nigeria. This study examined factors associated with sexual intercourse, delivery-coitus interval, and contraceptive use among postpartum women attending a tertiary centre in Kano, northern Nigeria. A cross section of 317 women attending immunization, postnatal and family planning clinics within 12 months of childbirth was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Vaginal intercourse was resumed by most women (n=212; 66.9%, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 61.8%, 72.2%) with delivery-coitus resumption interval (mean ± SD) of 9.6±5.2 weeks postpartum. The majority (67.9%) resumed sexual activity within 8 weeks of delivery. Nearly two-thirds 65.6% (n=139/212) of the sexually active women reported current use of contraceptives. Onset of postpartum sexual activity was independently associated with mode of delivery adjusted odds ratio (AOR) (95%CI)= 1.10 (1.03,1.78), baby‘s age AOR (95%CI) =2.10 (1.27, 8.70), number of living children AOR (95%CI)=1.21 (1.07,1.79), onset of menstruation AOR (95%CI)=0.34 (0.17,0.69) and co-habitation AOR (95%CI)=0.47 (0.016, 0.14). Contraceptive use was predicted by educational status, sexual activity, baby‘s age and menstruation. Most women attending maternal and child health clinics resumed sexual intercourse within 2 months of delivery, but only two-thirds used modern contraceptive methods. Contraceptive counseling should commence early, preferably during pregnancy.

Keywords: sexual intercourse, postpartum, contraceptive use, predictors, Nigeria

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eISSN: 1118-4841