Female menstrual cycle length is thought to play an important role in couple fecundity, or the biologic capacity for reproduction irrespective of pregnancy intentions. A complete assessment of the association between menstrual cycle length and fecundity requires a model that accounts for multiple risk factors (both male and female) and the couple's intercourse pattern relative to ovulation. We employ a Bayesian joint model consisting of a mixed effects accelerated failure time model for longitudinal menstrual cycle lengths and a hierarchical model for the conditional probability of pregnancy in a menstrual cycle given no pregnancy in previous cycles of trying, in which we include covariates for the male and the female and a flexible spline function of intercourse timing. Using our joint modeling approach to analyze data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment Study, a couple based prospective pregnancy study, we found a significant quadratic relation between menstrual cycle length and the probability of pregnancy even with adjustment for other risk factors, including male semen quality, age, and smoking status.
Lum, Kirsten J.; Sundaram, Rajeshwari; Buck-Louis, Germaine M.; and Louis, Thomas A., "A BAYESIAN APPROACH TO JOINT MODELING OF MENSTRUAL CYCLE LENGTH AND FECUNDITY" (October 2014). Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Biostatistics Working Papers. Working Paper 268.