Perceptions about Sex in Pregnancy among Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in a Tertiary Health Institution in South-East Nigeria
Background: There are varied perceptions about sex in pregnancy among women that often lead to poor sexual performance in pregnancy with the attendant marital disharmony. There is need to assess the perceptions about sex in pregnancy among pregnant women in order to devise effective strategies in addressing this issue.
Objective: To study the perceptions about sex during pregnancy among women attending antenatal clinic in a tertiary health institution in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria
Methodology: A cross sectional survey of 430 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinic at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, carried out from 1st February 2016 to 31st July 2016.
Results: The mean age of the women was 29.2 ± 4.7 years. A majority (96.0%, n=413) of them had at least secondary education. One hundred and eighty (42.1%) were in the second trimester of pregnancy. Out of the 430 women studied, 320(74.4%) had information about sex in pregnancy. The main source of information was the nurses (50.0%). More than half (51.4%, n= 221) of the women had no discussion on sex in pregnancy with their physicians and the respondents initiated the discussion in 40.7% (n=85) of cases. One hundred and fifty four (35.9%) of the women believed that sex was not safe during pregnancy mainly because sex could lead to miscarriages (86.9%; n=134). One hundred and eight (25.2%) of them reported that their husbands were worried about the safety of sex in pregnancy. Most (89.4%, n=380) of the respondents felt that it was not right to deny their partners sex on account of pregnancy and 87.2%(n=374) of them believed that denying their partners sex during pregnancy could lead to marital disharmony.
Conclusion: A significant number of the studied women had misconceptions about the safety of sex in pregnancy. We recommend that discussions on sex in pregnancy should be incorporated into the routine antenatal classes.
Keywords: Sexual dysfunction, Marital disharmony, Extra marital affairs, Traditional beliefs, Myths