Are Infertility Treatments Linked to Autism?

In the search for causes of autism, there is some support for the idea that infertility treatments are perhaps  one of the causes.  In this article printed in Time, several recent studies on the subject are discussed.  

These studies are not conclusive but they do suggest that further investigation is needed.  The researcher that headed up the Harvard study, Kristen Lyall states that in women over 35, that the incidence of autism is increased from 2% to 4% and less in younger women.  

To me, an autism increase from 2% to 4% is huge.

from Studies Link Infertility Treatments to Autism – TIME

 …A study presented Wednesday at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Philadelphia provides some of strongest evidence to date that Landes might be onto something. The study, conducted by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that autism was nearly twice as common among the children of women who were treated with the ovulation-inducing drug Clomid and other similar drugs than women who did not suffer from infertility, and the link persisted even after researchers accounted for the women’s age.

Moreover, the association between fertility drugs and autism appeared to strengthen with exposure: the longer women reported being treated for infertility, the higher the chances their child had an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

A second paper presented at the conference by an Israeli team found an association between autism risk and in vitro fertilization, which also involves the use of drugs that stimulate ovulation. Taken together, the studies add to a growing body of evidence that a history of infertility and treatment for infertility could play a role in causing autism. However, the papers raise more questions than they answer…

via Studies Link Infertility Treatments to Autism – TIME.


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