Fertility treatments to increase the risk of autism in children


A study by American and Swedish researchers states that fertility treatments increase the risk of autism in children. According to them, these treatments are not that flawless as they are pictured. The researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in the U.S. and Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted the study.

Fertility treatments are like heaven-sent for couples who cannot have children. However, this research reveals the other side of the picture. It links progesterone hormone therapy, in particular, causing a rise in autistic children.

For the research, 1,08,548 boys were employed. The researchers focused on boys because they were more likely to develop autism than girls.

The study found that children of the couples, undergone a progesterone hormone therapy, have 1.5 times higher odds of developing autism. On the other hand, the likelihood of autism in the children of the couples, who did not go through fertility treatments, was low.

What is progesterone hormone therapy?

Progesterone is also known as pregnancy hormone. Along with estrogen, progesterone is one of the hormones mainly produced in the female body. It prepares the female body for the process of carrying and giving birth to a child.

The progesterone hormone therapy involves supplementation with progesterone. The women, undergoing the therapy, are given supplements of this hormone. It intends to stimulate their reproductive process. The supplement is administered throughout the pregnancy via several options, including gels, suppositories, and vaginal inserts etc.

The idea of supplementing a natural hormone within the female body may seem like an ideal solution to infertility! However, it may not be that safe and practical in the long run.

The researchers suppose that this supplementation might have something to do with the development of the brain of the expected baby. They believe that the supplementation of the hormone might trigger a cascade of factors that eventually causes autism in the infant.

Some natural ways to improve fertility

Owing to the danger of these artificial treatments, couples must opt for natural ways to boost their fertility. Enlisted below are some of the natural ways to improve fertility.

Eat foods rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that potentially fight free radicals that damage the corporal cells. Studies reveal that foods rich in antioxidants like folic acid and zinc can help enhance the quality of sperms and raise the odds of conception. Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds etc.

Eat calories at breakfast

Women are advised to consume the most calories during breakfast. It will help mitigate the effect of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Note, that PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in females at present.

Stay away from trans fats

Trans fats aren’t good for your health. They cause a wide variety of health disorders, including infertility. Hydrogenated oils, margarine, and baked products usually contain trans fats. Thus, one must avoid taking them.

Trim down the intake of carbohydrates

A number of researches find that women who eat fewer carbohydrates had a lower risk of infertility. In addition, men with a high-carbohydrate diet have also been linked to reduced levels in hormones like insulin and testosterone. This may increase the risk of infertility in men as well.

Change your source of protein intake

Studies link protein from meat sources with an increased risk of infertility. Nutritionists suggest people, especially women, to switch to plant-based proteins. These may include legumes, nuts, and seeds etc. Proteins from these sources increase the chances of conception.

Exercise regularly

A regular but moderate exercise can lower the odds of being infertile. Note that too much exercise reduces the levels of testosterone.





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Areeba Hussain
The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.


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