|Multilevel analysis of early resumption of sexual intercourse among postpartum women in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from Demographic and Health Survey Data|
||Desale Bihonegn Asmamaw, Tadele Biresaw Belachew and Wubshet Debebe Negash
||BMC Public Health, Volume 23; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-15687-8
Multiple African Countries
Resuming sexual activity early after childbirth can cause reproductive health problems such as unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and short birth intervals, especially if contraception is not used. However, it is uncommon for healthcare providers to discuss postpartum sexual practices during prenatal and postnatal care. Therefore, this study aimed to assess early resumption of sexual intercourse and associated factors among postpartum women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Secondary data analysis from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys data from the period of 2014 to 2019/2020 of 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa were used. A total weighted sample of 118,371 women who gave birth in the three years before the surveys were used. We analyzed the data using Stata version 14. A multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression model was fitted to identify factors associated with early resumption of sexual intercourse. Variables with a p-value?0.05 in the multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression model were declared significant factors associated with the outcome variables.
The magnitude of early resumption of sexual intercourse among postpartum women was 67.97% (95% CI: 67.60, 68.34). Urban resident (AOR?=?1.91; 95%?CI: 1.83, 2.06), women with primary education 1.11 (AOR?=?1.11; 95%?CI: 1.07 to 1.31) and secondary education and above level 1.17 (AOR?=?1.17; 95%?CI: 1.09 to 1.29), husbands with primary education 1.32 (AOR?=?1.32; 95%?CI: 1.27, 1.38) and secondary education and above level 1.15 (AOR?=?1.15; 95%?CI: 1.11 to 1.25), family planning use (AOR?=?95%; CI: 1.77, 1.91), fertility intention wanted then 1.24 (AOR?=?1.24; 95%; CI: 1.19, 1.32) and wanted later 1.27 (AOR?=?1.27; 95%; CI: 1.22, 1.46), religion (AOR?=?2.08; 95%CI: 1.97, 2.17), and place of delivery (AOR?=?1.51; 95%CI?=?1.36, 1.65) were significantly associated with early resumption of sexual intercourse.
The study revealed that more than two-thirds of the women had resumed sexual intercourse early after childbirth. Hence, the concerned bodies should strengthen the integration of postpartum education on sexual resumption with maternal, neonatal, and child health care services to reduce the early resumption of sexual intercourse. In addition, healthcare providers providing counseling on the resumption of postpartum sexual intercourse should focus on these factors to ensure a more effective outcome.