Authors: Bello B, Kielkowski D, Heederik D, Wilson K, Vundle Z, Kruger A

Source: Occupational Health Southern Africa 2009; 15 (1): 6-14.


The role of occupational exposures in the declining fertility rate in South Africa is not known. Data on time-to pregnancy (TTP) and important risk factors including employment was obtained from 166 African women of reproductive age by trained community interviewers. For analysis, unplanned pregnancies were excluded and participants who were never pregnant were censored. Kaplan-Meier survival-curves were used to describe TTP and Cox proportional-hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR). TTP information was available for 42% of the study participants. The TTP distribution had a mode of 1 month, a median of 3 months, and a mean of 7.6 months. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol, urban status, contraception and gravidity, women who were employed took longer to fall pregnant than women who were not (adjusted HR 0.38, CI; 0.19- 0.76). This study shows that TTP in African women in South Africa may be related to employment status.