Fertility treatment increases risks of intellectual disabilities

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Swedish research found that treatment used to help men with poor fertility increases the chances of low IQ and autism.


Sperm damage from ICSI fertility treatment may increase chances of babies born with low IQ and autism

The risk of IVF

A Swedish study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association made a discovery that ICSI (Intra cytoplasm sperm injection), one of the IVF (In vitro fertilisation) treatments, is associated with babies that were born with intellectual disabilities.

According to the Daily Mail report, this Swedish study found that after men with poor sperm were treated with ICSI, there was a 51 per cent increased risk of giving birth to a baby with an IQ below 70 and having autism. Where the amount was an initial 62 per 100,000, it later increased to 92 per 100,000.

Dr. Avi Reichenberg from the Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London said, “Our study shows treatments developed to manage male infertility are associated with an increased risk for developmental disorders in offsprings.”

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How is this possible?

The reason why there is a likelihood of giving birth to babies with intellectual disabilities after ICSI fertility treatment is that the techniques involved in extracting the sperms and injecting them directly into the egg may be damaging for the sperms.

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