Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 3994–4005 | Cite as

Maternal and Paternal Infertility Disorders and Treatments and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Findings from the Study to Explore Early Development

  • Laura A. SchieveEmail author
  • Carolyn Drews-Botsch
  • Shericka Harris
  • Craig Newschaffer
  • Julie Daniels
  • Carolyn DiGuiseppi
  • Lisa A. Croen
  • Gayle C. Windham
Original Paper


Previous studies of associations between ASD and conception using assisted reproductive technology (ART) are inconsistent and few studies have examined associations with other infertility treatments or infertility disorders. We examined associations between ASD and maternal/paternal infertility disorders and numerous maternal treatments among 1538 mother–child pairs in the Study to Explore Early Development, a population-based case-control study. ASD was associated with any female infertility diagnosis and several specific diagnoses: blocked tubes, endometriosis, uterine-factor infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Stratified analyses suggested associations were limited to/much stronger among second or later births. The findings were not explained by sociodemographic factors such as maternal age or education or multiple or preterm birth. ASD was not associated with ART or non-ART infertility treatments.


Autism spectrum disorder Neurodevelopmental disorders Infertility Reproductive techniques, assisted Ovulation induction Epidemiology 



This study was supported by six cooperative agreements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000180, Colorado Department of Public Health; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000181, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute (CA); Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000182, University of Pennsylvania; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000183, Johns Hopkins University; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000184, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000498, Michigan State University.

Author Contributions

LAS made substantial contributions to acquisition of data, study conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, and gave final approval of the version to be published. CD-B and SH made substantial contributions to study conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, and gave final approval of the version to be published. CN, JD, CD, LAC, and GCW made substantial contributions to acquisition of data, study conception and design, interpretation of data, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, and gave final approval of the version to be published.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors report no conflict of interest for this study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants in this study.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3283_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura A. Schieve
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolyn Drews-Botsch
    • 2
  • Shericka Harris
    • 1
  • Craig Newschaffer
    • 3
  • Julie Daniels
    • 4
  • Carolyn DiGuiseppi
    • 5
  • Lisa A. Croen
    • 6
  • Gayle C. Windham
    • 7
  1. 1.National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental DisabilitiesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Gillings Scholl of Global Public HealthThe University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  6. 6.Kaiser PermanenteOaklandUSA
  7. 7.California Department of Public HealthRichmondUSA

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