, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 645-660

A method for the estimation of fecundability

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Abstract

A new method for the estimation of the mean and variance of fecundability is described. The data input required for this procedure is the distribution of the interval from marriage to first birth, or from the resumption of the conception risk after contraception to the subsequent birth. The estimates of the mean and variance of fecundability are obtained by fitting a model to the observed interval distribution. To test the method, it is applied to data from five historical populations. The fecundability means in these populations ranged from 0.18 to 0.31 while the coefficients of variation all had values near 0.56. A short method for the estimation of the mean of fecundability based on the same model, but not requiring a computer, is also presented.