ABSTRACT: Functional oxytocin deficiency and a faulty oxytocin signaling pathway have been observed in conjunction with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Because exogenous synthetic oxytocin commonly is administered for labor induction and augmentation, some have hypothesized that synthetic oxytocin used for these purposes may alter fetal oxytocin receptors and predispose exposed offspring to ASD. However, current evidence does not identify a causal relationship between labor induction or augmentation in general, or oxytocin labor induction specifically, and autism or ASD. Recognizing the limitations of available study design, conflicting data, and the potential consequences of limiting labor induction and augmentation, the Committee on Obstetric Practice recommends against a change in current guidance regarding counseling and indications for and methods of labor induction and augmentation.
Committee on Obstetric Practice
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Copyright May 2014 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 409 12th Street, SW, PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20090-6920. All rights reserved.
Labor induction or augmentation and autism. Committee Opinion No. 597. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2014;123:1140–2.