Coital Frequency and Male Concurrent Partnerships During Pregnancy and Postpartum in Agbogbloshie, Ghana

  • Susan CasselsEmail author
  • Samuel M. Jenness
  • Adriana A. E. Biney
Original Paper


During pregnancy and postpartum, women in high HIV prevalence regions continue to be at high risk for acquiring HIV, due to both behavioral and biological mechanisms, despite declines in coital frequency as a pregnancy advances. We estimated differences in rates of partnership concurrency for men with and without pregnant or postpartum sexual partners. We used monthly retrospective panel data from Ghana from three perspectives: couple-level data, female reports of pregnancy and male partner concurrency, and male reports of concurrent partnerships and female partner pregnancy. Coital frequency increased during the first trimester and then declined with advancing pregnancy. However, in all three analyses, there was no compelling evidence that men with pregnant or postpartum partners had additional concurrent partnerships. Our findings suggest that even though women’s sexual activity likely declines during pregnancy and postpartum, they may not be at increased risk of HIV/STI due to their partners seeking additional partnerships.


HIV/STI Multiple concurrent partnerships Agbogbloshie Pregnant Postpartum 



This material is supported by funding from the NICHD K99/R00 HD057533. We acknowledge Dr. Francis Dodoo from The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Ghana, along with the Migration and HIV in Ghana study staff and others at the Regional Institute for Population Studies for their support. In addition, we would like to thank Ayme Tomson and Rafael Melendez-Rios for their work on this project through the NSF Network Science IGERT at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Drs. Cassels, Jenness, and Biney declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The Institutional Review Boards of the University of Washington and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, approved the study protocols. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Regional Institute for Population StudiesUniversity of GhanaLegonGhana

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