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Postpartum Sexual Abstinence and High Risk Sexual Behaviour Trends in African Settings | Chapter 03 | Current Trends in Disease and Health Vol. 1

Aims: To determine the prevalence of high risk sexual behavior and its relationship to the duration of coital sexual abstinence in husbands of postpartum women.

Study Design:  Cross sectional descriptive study.

Place and Duration of Study: Ikenne Local Government Area, in Ogun State, South Western Nigeria between, December 2014 and May 2015.


Methodology: Data were obtained with the aid of semi-structured interviewee administered questionnaire from 771 husbands of postpartum women using the multi-stage sampling technique.

Results: The prevalence of High risk sex in the population was 10.6%. The duration of coital sexual abstinence was the most important risk factor (P<.001), while previous extramarital sexual relationship (P<.001, OR=41.70, 95%CI=18.07-96.07) and husband’s knowledge of his own HIV status (P=.03, OR=1.71) were also significant determinants of this occurrence. Consistent condom use during unsafe sex was 6.1%, while STIs occurred in 3.7% of the participants. Significantly longer durations of coital abstinence (8.30 ± 6.24 months) were observed in men who were rural dwellers than in urban dwelling husbands (7.16 ± 6.01 months), P=.01. Violent behavior against the postpartum wife during the abstinence period was reported by 1.2% of the participants.

Conclusion: High risk male sexual behavior was a consequence of prolonged postpartum sexual abstinence and a predisposition to STIs among husbands of postpartum women.

Author(s) Details

J. O. Imaralu
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Benjamin Carson (Snr) School of Medicine, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria.

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