Validating the self-reported fertility status of rural Malawian women

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Author(s): Barden-O’Fallon J, Suchindran C, Tsui AO

Year: 2006

Am J Human Bio 2006. 18:214-218.

This study uses data from a population-based survey to examine the fertility schedules of 704 women in a rural district of Malawi. The main objective is to assess selfreported fecundity status as a measure of fertility impairment. Life tables are used to examine the timing and tempo of births for women reporting difficulty getting pregnant as compared to women with no reported fecundity difficulties. Results of the analysis indicate that women with self-reported fecundity difficulties are older at each birth and have longer median birth intervals than do women with no reported difficulties. Cox proportional hazards models show that the report of a difficulty getting pregnant is significantly associated with at least a 30% lower likelihood of a first, second, or third birth. The relationships are not modified when accounting for demographic characteristics, previous sexual behaviors, or STI status.

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