Early resumption of sexual intercourse and its determinants among postpartum Iban mothers

M Radziah, K Shamsuddin, Jamsiah M, M Normi, TH Mohd Zahari, AT Nur Syimah, M Nor Asiah


Introduction: Recurrent pregnancy with close child spacing can result from early resumption of sexual intercourse during the postpartum period. This would expose mothers to complications such as unsafe abortion, postpartum depression and premature birth. The aim of this study is to identify the factors associated with early resumption of sexual intercourse among postpartum Iban mothers.

Methods: This is a cross sectional study conducted in Sri Aman Division, Sarawak between 1st July and 31st August 2006. A total of 265 Iban mothers agreed to participate in this study. They were interviewed face-to-face using structured questionnaire. Any postpartum sexual intercourse at 6 weeks or less is considered an early resumption of sexual intercourse.

Results: Univariable analyses showed significant association between early sexual intercourse and use of contraceptive; mothers’ and husbands’ income; mothers who believed their husbands were sexually abstinent during their confinement period; mothers who stayed with their spouse after delivery; and those with high libido. Multivariable analysis showed only mothers’ and husbands’ income, use of contraceptive and those who believed their husbands practiced sexual abstinence during their confinement period were significantly associated with early resumption of sexual intercourse.

Conclusions: Counselling on postpartum resumption of sexual intercourse among Iban mothers should focus on these determinants to ensure a more effective counselling outcome among Iban mothers.

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