To determine the associations of fecundity and childlessness with month of conception and to find a causal mechanism for these associations, we reanalyzed some of our previous data according to the predictions of the seasonal optimal ripening oocyte (SOptRO) and seasonal preovulatory overripeness ovopathy (SPrOO) hypotheses. Prime and minor SOptRO months as well as high-risk, no-risk, and very high risk SPrOO months were defined on the basis of a priori knowledge of the existence of ovulatory and anovulatory seasons in mammals and of the general birth distribution in Europe. The month of birth was assessed among 899 mothers with three or more children and 388 childless women extracted from a 1% sample of the Austrian population. The women with three or more children were born in excess during the prime and less often during the minor SOptRO months (χ2 = 2.81; p = 0.045; relative risk = 1.16; 95% CI = 1.01–1.33). This is in line with the SOptRO predictions. The childless women were more frequently born during the high-risk SPrOO months compared to the no-risk months but less often during the very high risk months. The linear trend (χ2 = 8.43; p = 0.009) is in line with the SPrOO predictions. We suggest that fecundity and childlessness are dependent on the gradient of oocyte maturation reflected by mother's month of birth, which may modulate future constitution.
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Vol. 79 • No. 5