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Estimating time to pregnancy in Chinese couples: a population-based study
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  • Danni Zheng,
  • Zehong Zhou,
  • Rong Li,
  • Hongping Wu,
  • Suxin Xu,
  • Yuefan Kang,
  • Yunxia Cao,
  • Xiujuan Chen,
  • Yimin Zhu,
  • Shuguang Xu,
  • Zi-Jiang Chen,
  • Jie Qiao
Danni Zheng
Peking University Third Hospital

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Zehong Zhou
Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center
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Hongping Wu
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Yuefan Kang
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Yunxia Cao
The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University
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Xiujuan Chen
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Shuguang Xu
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Zi-Jiang Chen
Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University
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Jie Qiao
Peking University Third Hospital
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Objective: To explore the distribution of time to pregnancy in a Chinese population based on a cross-sectional design. Design: A cross-sectional population-based study. Setting: 8 provinces/municipalities in China between 2010 and 2011. Population or Sample: 25,270 couples aged 20-49 years. Methods: Multistage stratified cluster sampling strategy was utilized to recruit participants from each stratum by district, province/municipality, town/township, and village/street order. Main Outcome Measures: Time to diagnose pregnancy from 17,275 couples “at risk for pregnancy”. Results: In 7,889 couples eligible for analysis, the mean time to pregnancy was 17.2 months (standard deviation, 22.7) with a median of 9 months (25–75th percentile, 3–20 months). Women aged 20–24 years had the highest percentage of pregnancy at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months (23.9%, 42.5%, 58.5%, and 80.4%, respectively). Furthermore, 55.8% (3,413/6,116) and 79.9% (4,885/6,116) of women aged <35 years conceived within 1 year and 2 years, respectively, and the percentage increased by only 8.4% (5,399/6,116, 88.8%) in the third year. Only 30.6% (186/607) and 50.6% (307/607) of women aged ≥35 years conceived within 1 year and 2 years, respectively. Risk factors associated with time to pregnancy were older age, lower educational attainment of couples, higher annual household income, toxic exposure in men, shorter duration of cohabitation, longer menstrual cycle interval, history of abnormal pregnancy, and nullipara. Conclusions: Our study provides a comprehensive estimation of the time to diagnose pregnancy among Chinese couples of reproductive age, providing important information for policy makers, fertility clinicians, and sexual health educators.