Does your personality influence your fertility?

374px-Free_personality_testingI’ve just been reading about a study in the European Journal of Personality – yes, there really is such a thing – which suggests that your fertility may be linked to your personality. It claims that extroverts of both sexes are more likely to be fertile, and that women who are conscientious are likely to be less fertile.

It’s interesting, but I can’t help wondering whether in fact the research is upside down and ought to be asking how fertility influences personality. In my experience, infertility is a lonely, depressing business and can dampen the spirits of even the most cheerful, extrovert. And as for being conscientious, doesn’t infertility do that to you? The woman who is carefully avoiding alcohol and coffee, who is eating a wonderfully healthy diet and taking the optimum amount of exercise, who spends her time researching fertility treatments online and carefully comparing clinic success rates – isn’t she inevitably going to appear to be pretty conscientious?

I could only access the summary of the study online rather than the full article, so it maybe that there is some clever way that the study eliminates the effects of infertility – but it seems to me that fertility has a far larger influence on personality than personality does on fertility…

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