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J Family Med Prim Care. 2017 Jul-Sep;6(3):568-573. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.213948.

Reproductive behavior of newly married women in rural Punjab, India: A longitudinal study.

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Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.



In India, little is known about the reproductive behavior during earlier years of married life of women, when they are more vulnerable to reproductive ill health and early child bearing with very few interventions available.


The objective of this study is to follow a cohort of newly married women immediately after marriage until their first pregnancy outcome to gain an insight into their reproductive behavior so that important opportunities could be identified for intervention.

Subjects and Methods:

A community-based longitudinal study was carried out in 15 villages of Ludhiana District under the Rural Health Training Centre of Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab. All marriages of the male residents that took place in these villages from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013 were enrolled. Thus, a cohort of 195 newly married women was identified over a period of 1 year and followed every month till first pregnancy outcome. The analysis was performed using SPSS version 20 statistical software.


Mean age at marriage for newly married women was 22.9 ± 3.0 years. Majority of them conceived within 1st year of marriage (79.5%) while 10.8% of women did not conceive till the end of follow-up period. Mean age at first pregnancy was 23.4 ± 3.1 years with mean interval between marriage and first pregnancy of 5.4 ± 6.1 months. Nearly, three-fourth of pregnancies resulted in live births while adverse pregnancy outcome including still births and abortions was seen in 15.9% of the study cohort.


Overall findings indicate optimistic picture for married young women, but critical opportunities should be utilized to promote health of these women in a journey toward safe motherhood.


Age at marriage; newly married women; reproductive behavior

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