Fertility Treatments Linked To Autism In Children

A new study from Columbia University shows an increased risk of autism in children conceived through fertility treatments. Researchers found that children conceived through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) were twice as likely to have autism as those birthed through traditional methods of conception. However, the results of the study indicate that the risk of developing autism is greatly increased in multiple births, which means that IVF itself may not be the true culprit in this matter.

Peter Bearman, a professor of social sciences at Columbia University, said, “The risk of autism appears to be largely modifiable by restricting IVF to single-embryo transfer.” Bearman went on to mention that there was no significant increase in risk for women who gave birth to a single child. “Knowing that one can largely reduce the risk of autism by restricting the procedure to single-egg transfer is important for women who can then make better informed decisions.”

How The Autism Study Was Conducted

To perform their research, the team at Columbia University assessed 5.9 million children born in California from 1997 to 2007. This included 48,865 children conceived with assisted reproduction and 32,922 children diagnosed with autism. Researchers looked into a variety of factors that may increase the risk of autism, such as the mother’s education and age. The increase in risk occurred only for women under the age of 35.

The researchers found that the primary source of concern with regards to fertility treatments was for women who gave birth to multiple children. This is common among IVF pregnancies because more than one embryo is used to increase the chance of conception. With this new information, couples may begin to second-guess this decision due to the risk of autism development.

Autism Treatment For Children And Their Parents

Whether or not your child was conceived through fertility treatments, he or she may develop autism spectrum disorder at a young age. If psychological testing has determined that your child does in fact have ASD there are treatment options available for you and your child alike. The therapists at Perspectives Of Troy can work with you to assist your child. We offer group counseling, and individual counseling for children to provide the best possible treatment available. Contact us today at (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors. Remember, “You Need Not Walk Alone”.