- Fertility treatments may increase risks of autism in children
- Individual hormones have been linked to autism development in children
- No other connection is found between fertility treatments and autism
Fertility treatments are a boon for people who struggle to conceive or have problems with fertility. Issues like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), etc are all problems which can lead to infertility. It is in these cases that people resort to fertility treatments like In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy. But now, a recent study has claimed that fertility treatments may increase risks of autism in children. Autism is referred to a mental condition which persists from early childhood. The condition causes difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people in terms of using language and abstract concepts.
The study was conducted in 108,548 boys by researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital in the US and Karolinska Institute in Sweden. It was conducted on boys since autism in children is higher in boys as compared to girls.
As part of the study, it was found that the chances of having a child on autistic spectrum were 1.5 times higher in case of progesterone hormone therapy, as compared to people who did not undergo fertility treatments.
Progesterone is a hormone which is needed for brain development. A hypothesis says that it activates a genetic mechanism which can lead to development of autism in children.
Speaking of progesterone delivery before pregnancy, it has been found that it may affect critical stages in development of foetal brain.
When it comes to development of autism in children, numerous efforts have been made to determine which environment factors influence it. Effect of fertility treatments on autism development is yet to be studied thoroughly. For now, individual hormones have been linked to autism development. Otherwise, no connection has been found between fertility treatments and autism.