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Archive for the ‘Autism Awareness’ Category

Is There a Relationship Between Infertility Treatment and Autism?

By admin

April 3rd, 2015 at 7:11 pm


image courtesy njaj/free

April is Autism Awareness Month. As it ends, much of the discussion regarding the potential causes of autism have centered on the debate over a possible vaccine connection.

Understandably, the world is searching for the cause of what some call the epidemic of autism in the United States. Current stats show that one out of 68 children is diagnosed with the disorder which typically manifests itself in various ways, impacting or causing developmental delays, communication and behavioral challenges. Because the symptoms and degree of severity vary so wildly from case to case, autism is a spectrum disorder.

And, although practically eclipsed by the vaccine headlines, every year another question is raised:

Does IVF… or fertility medications… cause autism?

A recent study*sparked some pretty sensational headlines that boldly claimed that IVF doubles the risk of having autism. Reading further into the articles…or even reading the small print caption right below the accompanying photo… you could find facts and quotes that explained and/or contradicted the claim of the headline. But not everyone reads the article beyond the headline. Certainly not someone who is now hysterical with fear. In my opinion, misleading headlines in journalism dealt a sucker punch to IVF.

Consider this article**, entitled “Children conceived via IVF have double the autism rates of others: study”, wherein the caption right below the headline and photo states:

“While researchers didn’t find a direct link between reproductive treatments like IVF and autism, they said higher rates among children born that way might be due to multiple births or complications during pregnancy that can follow such treatments.” (emphasis added)

Notably, if you read further, the risk disappears completely for those who elect IVF with a Single Embryo Transfer, or for those who do not have multiple pregnancies! The article continues:

For moms giving birth to just one baby, there’s no increased risk of the neurodevelopmental disorder, researchers said.”(emphasis added)

This clarification may relieve the fears of many IVF patients… especially in light of the growing popularity and competitive success rates of Single Embryo Transfer programs like the one at Long Island IVF. Even for those who do not elect SET, advances in reproductive technology have led to a significant decrease in the number of embryos most clinics will routinely transfer, and that has also contributed to a dramatic reduction in the incidence of high order multiple pregnancies as well.

Obviously, more research is necessary. And careful dissemination of information and findings as it unfolds is, as well.


Do you think publications have a duty to use headlines that don’t mislead? Does the study in question impact your family-building decision and if so, in what way?



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Long Island “Brew For the Family” Event- June 4, 2015

Would winning a FREE IVF Cycle door prize help you or a loved one build a family?

Join us on Thursday, June 4th, 2015 from 7:30-10PM at the Long Island Brew for the Family event hosted in partnership with the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation.

We have come together to spread the message that infertility can be overcome! Enjoy a night out and forget the stress of infertility as we sample craft beers at one of Long Island’s premier microbreweries, The Great South Bay Brewery. The evening will include a sampling of 6 beers, guided brewery tours with a master brewer, great food, music, and a silent auction.

Each admission ticket will include one entry into the drawing for a FREE IVF CYCLE* door prize. Be sure to invite your family and friends for even more chances to win, as the prize is transferrable.

To purchase tickets and learn more about this event please visit:


Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.


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Recognizing World Autism Awareness Day

By Tracey Minella

April 2nd, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. And April is National Autism Awareness Month.

This brings the epidemic of autism into the blue spotlight. “Blue” because in an effort to raise public awareness and funding for autism, individuals and businesses are “lighting it up blue” and illuminating their homes and offices with blue lights.

The heightened awareness may naturally cause some to wonder if infertility treatment could affect your chances of having a child with autism. The latest information from Autism Speaks™ may be helpful.

Autism Speaks™ is a recognized authority on the latest news and information on autism statistics, treatment, and research and offers the following information on the current state of autism research and the great strides being made, especially in the past five years,


  • Autism is a neurological condition and developmental disorder that affects approximately 1 in every 88 children born. It’s more prevalent in boys, with an estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls being diagnosed with autism in the United States each year.


  • While autism often causes speech and developmental delays, impaired social functioning and difficult behavioral issues, it is noteworthy that autistic children often exhibit exceptional abilities in visual skills, music, and academic skills.


  • The incidence of cases of autism diagnosed in the general population continues to rise at a ten-fold rate over the last 40 years, due only in part to better diagnosing processes. While the increase is a concern, the good news is that heightened awareness and earlier diagnosis can lead to early intervention therapies which often improve outcomes for the child.


  • Research indicates:“most cases of autism…appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development”. Such factors include older parents at the time of conception, maternal illness during pregnancy and difficulties during birth. The role of the immune system and autism is also being researched.


  • Research also shows that the autism risk is reduced in women who take prenatal vitamins with folic acid before conception…a major benefit for Long Island IVF’s infertility patients who are placed on those vitamins in advance of their pregnancies, and who often learn of their positive pregnancy results faster than those conceiving without assistance.


So what does all this mean for the infertility patient? I think it is a matter of perspective. Yes, some infertility patients become parents at an advanced age which, in the presence of a genetic predisposition for autism, can be a risk factor. But we are often on prenatal vitamins before conception and take good care of our hard-earned pregnancies.

If you are concerned about autism, due to a family history or for other reasons, by all means speak to your Reproductive Endocrinologist about it. Long Island IVF’s Donor Programs (donor egg, donor sperm, or donor embryo) may be an alternative to consider.

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Do you have any concerns about infertility treatment and autism?

If so, did your concerns impact your decision to proceed with fertility treatment?

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Having an Autistic IVF Baby: A Personal Story

By Tracey Minella

April 2nd, 2012 at 8:49 am


Today is National Autism Awareness Day. 

I have two IVF children. A neuro-typical daughter and an autistic son, who are 14 and 10, respectively. This is an issue close to my heart.  

Just this week, new statistics on the odds of having a child with autism were released. The odds are now estimated at 1 in 88.  It’s been called an epidemic.

 I’ve heard people… desperate for answers… suggest that maybe IVF had something to do with their child’s autism. To date, I’m not aware of any study making a connection.

 I personally feel that autism has a genetic basis and that whether most children develop it or not depends on whether a triggering event or series of events occurs. This position comes from years of meticulous research and biomedical and other interventions.

 There are as many comparisons as there are differences between the conceptions, pregnancies, and toddler year exposures and experiences of my two IVF kids. Both were born prematurely and I was four years older when I had my son. No one will ever know for sure what triggered my son’s autism while my daughter is fine.

 Back when I did IVF, there was no autism fear. It wasn’t even in the news when my son was diagnosed in 2004, much less when I started IVF in 1993. What we worried about in the back of our minds back then was whether the drugs we were taking would cause us to have cancer later in life. Happily, that has not come to pass.

 But even when faced with that cancer concern, I asked myself whether the risk of cancer someday was worth the benefit of conceiving a child. For me, the need to have a child was so strong that I was willing to take the risk of possibly not being around to see my child grow up. People will argue that my position was selfish or crazy. But that’s just me. And we’re all entitled to our feelings.

 Sometimes we get so focused on getting pregnant and having that baby that we don’t pay any attention to other considerations. But we can’t control much of what is meant to be for ourselves or our children. Life happens and often fate unrolls the lives we’re meant to lead. I have no regrets about my decision to build my family through IVF. Life is challenging with an autistic child, but he and his sister are the lights of my life and I could never imagine life without either of them in it.

 Today, the lights of the Empire State Building…and our house… will be lit up blue for Autism Awareness Day. If you know someone who loves someone with Autism, please reach out to them today.

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Have you ever worried about autism, or cancer, or anything else coming from your infertility treatment?

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