An autism link to ivf?

Image: courtesy Time magazine

It is very difficult to prove an exact link between cause and effect when the disease itself is rare. And this is the case it seems with the latest research just released yesterday. After analysing 2.5 million live births (wow!!), there seems to be a small link between some forms of ivf and autism.

The risk itself is very small. In normally concieved children the risk appears to be 62 per 100,000 births. In ivf, it was 93 per 100,000 children. So the actual risk associated with the ivf procedure was 31 per 100,000 births which works out to 0.00031%, almost incalculable.

With icsi the risk was slightly higher (0.0011%) but again so small that it is almost negligible.

The scientists writing the paper concluded “any risk of these disorders was very low or absent in comparison to children conceived naturally”.

I think so too.


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The writer is a fertility specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. This site is intended to provide up to date fertility information for the interested.
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