Shere M, Arbuckle TE, Monnier P, Fraser WD, Velez MP. American Journal of Human Biology. 2018 Oct 17:e23176. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.23176.
Time‐to‐Pregnancy (TTP) is an epidemiological tool to assess couple fecundity. The finger digit ratio (2D:4D) has been suggested as a marker of androgen exposure in utero. Maternal, paternal, or couple‐mediated factors related to fecundity may also have an effect on androgen exposure during pregnancy. We aimed to investigate the association between TTP, infertility, or use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and offspring 2D:4D.
Data from 673 mother‐child pairs were collected from questionnaires in the Maternal‐Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study across 10 cities in Canada. The mean maternal age was 33.4 years (SD 4.7), with a median gestational age of 12.1 weeks (SD 1.3), at the time of recruitment. Our study included 338 girls and 335 boys, and the mean age of the children at follow‐up was 3.5 years (SD 1.0). TTP was assessed through questionnaires during the first trimester of pregnancy. Digital photographs of both hands were taken in a follow‐up study to calculate the children’s 2D:4D (2–5 years). anova, t tests, and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted.
Boys had significantly lower mean 2D:4Ds (0.936 ±0.041 in right hand, 0.936 ±0.040 in left hand) compared to girls (0.948 ±0.038 in right hand, 0.945 ±0.038 in left hand). The mean 2D:4D did not differ according to TTP, infertility, or use of ART. The only factors associated with the child’s 2D:4D were the child’s age and maternal 2D:4D.
Our study does not support an association between TTP, infertility, or use of ART and children’s 2D:4D.