From the biological point of view, the life of every human being begins with a single cell, called a zygote, which arises from the union of an egg cell from his mother and a sperm cell from his father. When a zygote forms, a conception is said to have occurred and a pregnancy begins. Even among couples who engage in sexual intercourse regularly, a conception in any particular month is far from certain. To take these uncertainties into account, it seems necessary to introduce probabilistic concepts. The term, fecundability, has come into wide usage in discussions of stochastic models of conception and birth as an expression of the uncertainties surrounding conception. A tentative definition of fecundability is the probability a married woman conceives in a given month.
KeywordsMarkov Chain Menstrual Cycle Beta Distribution Geometric Distribution Markov Chain Model
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Barrett, J.C. (1971): Fecundability and Coital Frequency. Population Studies 25:309–313Google Scholar
- Barrett, J.C. and Marshall, J. (1969): The Risk of Conception on Different Days of the Menstrual Cycle. Population Studies 23:455–461Google Scholar
- Glasser, J.H. and Lachenbrugh, P.A. (1968): Observations on the Relationship Between Frequency and Timing of Intercourse and the Probability of Conception. Population Studies 22:399–407Google Scholar
- Jain, A.K. (1969): Fecundability and Its Relation to Age in a sample of Taiwanese Women. Population Studies 23:69–85Google Scholar
- James, W.H. (1971): The Distribution of Coitus within the Human Intermenstrum. Journal of Biosocial Science 3:159–171Google Scholar
- Kemeny, J.G. and Snell, J.L. (1976): Finite Markov Chains. Springer-Verlag, New York, Heidelberg, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Lachenbrugh, P.A. (1967): Frequency and Timing of Intercourse — Its Relation to the Probability of Conception. Population Studies 21:23–31Google Scholar
- Leridon, H. (1977): Human Fertility — The Basic Components. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and LondonGoogle Scholar
- Neider, J.A. and Wedderburn, R.W.M. (1972): Generalized Linear Models. Jour. Royal Stat. Soc. A 135:370–384Google Scholar
- Sheps, M.C. and Lapierre-Adamcyk, E. (1972): On the Measurement of Human Fertility — Selected Writings of Louis Henry. Elsevier, Amsterdam, London, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Tietze, C. (1970): Ranking of Contraceptive Methods by Levels of Effectiveness. Advances in Planned Parenthood-VI; Excepta Medica International Congress Series No. 224:117–126Google Scholar