Sexual behaviour in pregnancy among antenatal women attending a secondary hospital in southern India

Jennifer David Livingstone, Lalmalsawmi Ralte, James Thapa Magar, Sirshendu Choudhari, Anne George Cherian, Venkata Raghava Mohan


Background: The objectives of our study were to estimate the prevalence of antenatal women who had ever experienced sexual activity (only genital sex) in the present pregnancy; to assess their knowledge and practice towards sexual activity and to identify the socio-demographic variables associated with abstinence of sexual activity during pregnancy.

Methods: This is a cross sectional study which included antenatal women, who visited the investigators for regular health check-ups and were asked to take part in the study after giving their consent.

Results: Eighty-seven (80%) out of 108 subjects responded to the question as to whether they ever had sexual intercourse (SI) during the current pregnancy. Overall prevalence of the Sexual Intercourse during pregnancy in our study was 54% (95%CI is 43.4-64.6%). Sixty nine (63.9%) women believed that sexual intercourse was safe in pregnancy. Out of the 69 women who believed sex is safe in pregnancy, majority (79.8%) reported that it widened the birth passage.

Conclusions: The present study finds that most of the women are not keen to discuss the topic of sexual behaviour even if confidentiality is maintained. Majority of the women in our study were willing to discuss with a doctor or husband if there is a sexual health related problem; whereas one fourth of the women would continue to bear such problems without discussing it with anyone. Sex during pregnancy is a topic which women are reluctant to discuss irrespective of their socio-economic and cultural background.


Sexual behaviour, Antenatal period, South India

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