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Pitocin is an artificial version of the hormone oxytocin, which plays a large role in triggering uterine contractions. Pitocin, which is administered through IV, has been the medication of choice to induce labors in many hospitals across western countries. Around the internet, people are asking the question is there any link between pitocin and autism?

Unlike autism and childhood vaccinations, no real studies have been conducted into the link between pitocin and autism. Any articles you may come across that suggest there may be a link are likely to appear on "conspiracy theorist" websites that also hold on to the idea that vaccines cause autism, an idea for which there is no scientific evidence.

Still, the question whether pitocin could have anything to do with autism arises again and again, on popular internet discussion boards like Baby Center, where women whose children were diagnosed with autism and who were induced with pitocin are convinced that correlation does equal causation, after all.

There is just no evidence suggesting that is true, and no reason to believe the theory. Having said that, there are plenty of reasons to avoid labor induction by any means when it is not necessary, including the risk of delivering a premature baby with many health problems in the early weeks.

And there are good reasons to avoid induction with pitocin too, including an increased risk of uterine rupture and higher odds of ending up with a cesarean section. When pitocin is medically indicated though, it can indeed be life-saving. The benefits outweigh the risks, but only in some situations.

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