Do mothers with PCOS hold the risk of an autistic progeny? 

I have been across a lot of ADD, ADHD diagnosed kids these days. And also a lot of mothers are asking me questions on how they can prevent the same in the future child if the previous child has already been given the diagnosis. There is also some new research that has just been released regarding the connection between PCOS and AUTISM.

Dr Disha Sridhar

I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN )with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.

In summary,the research shows that you have a greater risk of having a child with Autism if you have PCOS. But I’m not into fear mongering so let us see this in detail. Will all the ladies having hormonal imbalance end up having autistic children?

Absolutely not!

The risk of having an autistic child is quite low that is only 1-2 percent in women who do not have PCOS.  Even though the risk increases by 49% in women with PCOS, that will be only 1.5-2.5%,which is pretty slim.

Secondly, and very importantly, there is a lot that we can do by changing the way we eat, sleep, move and live to reduce our androgen levels. This could possibly reduce our risk.  However, natural hormone balancing is unprescribed in our current healthcare system. Therefore you might have been told how much to ‘go away and lose weight’ which is highly frustrating!

Lifestyle medicine before pharmaceuticals:

It is research like this, and also other research that shows infants exposed to high levels of insulin in the womb are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome like obesity and insulin resistance,which might make me even more passionate about fixing your hormones by treating your ROOT CAUSE.The root cause of your hormone imbalance, before we resort to IUI medications like Clomid, Letrazole or IVF.

I see it all the time, if you’re over producing these androgens that is your insulin levels, stress hormones, inflammation, thyroid etc, and then we match you with a treatment plan to suit and bring down your androgen levels, we can see you ovulating again in a matter of months.  Additionally we also see these androgen levels drop significantly.

Whereas if we just go and pump you with drugs like Clomid to force you to ovulate, then we’re doing nothing to bring down these testosterone levels.

I’m definitely not anti-medications. Medications are really helpful in cases and I’ve seen them used really effectively for many of the women that I work with.  But the difference is that I want to help you do everything you can to treat the underlying issue which might be stopping you from ovulating and balance the hormones.

The problem with our current medical model is that your average doctor, OBGYN or fertility specialist may not be trained in natural strategies like nutrition and lifestyle medicine , which will help you bring down these androgen levels. They can only offer what they have in their ‘kit bag’ and this is pharmaceutical interventions.

So how do we reduce androgens naturally?

We can help you balance your hormones with many different strategies,naturally. But the first step is to find out why your body is overproducing these and address the root cause of the problem.  While you may have read that our genes are responsible, it is only partially true.But we do know that genes can be turned on and off by factors in our lifestyle and environment, and a few of these can contribute to PCOS.  Some of these factors in PCOS are:

  • High blood sugar or insulin
  • High stress
  • Environmental toxins like plastics and pesticides
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Hypothyroidism

You can read more about these factors on my other blogs where I have addressed each of them in detail. 

Remember that health is your birthright and my job is to help you achieve that. Wherever you may be right now, you are a wonderful woman, and once you get the right information, you can make better choices. Stop masking the symptoms and heal the root cause! It’s time to listen to your body and reconnect with yourself. So, what are you waiting for? The science of your body is on your side. Change your life today and become the person you most want to be because this world needs you!

We’re all in this together!! pass on this info to any girlfriend you see suffering from PCOS or Hormone imbalance. Thank you for reading this. I know you are a proactive health rockstar, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far. Thank you for everything that you are already doing to help heal and transform our world.

to your healthy cycle and healthy baby. 


Originally published November 18, 2019 by Dr Disha Sridhar

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