How Do Women Learn They Are Pregnant? The Introduction of Clinics and Pregnancy Uncertainty in Nepal

Isabel Musse, University of Illinois
Rebecca L. Thornton , University of Illinois

The earlier a woman learns about her pregnancy state, the sooner she is able to make decisions that can affect her own and infant’s health. This paper examines how women learn about their pregnancy status and measures how access to pregnancy tests affect pregnancy knowledge. Using ten-years of individual-level monthly panel data in Nepal, we find that on average, women learn they are pregnant in their 5.4th month of pregnancy. Living closer to a clinic offering pregnancy tests increases the time they know they are pregnant by 1.5 weeks (a 7 percent increase), and increases the likelihood of knowing in the first trimester by 7 percentage points (an 18 percent increase). Our results are concentrated among women with prior pregnancies, who would be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of pregnancy in earlier months.

See paper

 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2