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A New Estimate of Permanent Sterility by Age: Sterility Defined as the Inability to Conceive

Henri Leridon
Population Studies
Vol. 62, No. 1 (Mar., 2008), pp. 15-24
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27643443
Page Count: 10
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A New Estimate of Permanent Sterility by Age: Sterility Defined as the Inability to Conceive
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Abstract

The proportion of couples permanently sterile beyond a certain age is an important component of the reproductive process. Unless medical assistance is used, this age is the upper bound of the fecund period. Most estimates of sterility by age of the woman have been derived from natural fertility populations, in which the number of births and the timing of the last birth (of the complete reproductive history) were not controlled by the couples. Because data on these populations do not include pregnancies not ending in a live birth, the sterility estimates apply to the proportion of couples unable to conceive and to have a live birth. For this reason, it is useful to have an estimate of sterility based on the risk of conceiving, independently of the fate of the pregnancy. Using this new estimate, sterility increases with age much more slowly than with most previous estimates.

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