New study links PCOS and Autism Spectrum Disorder.



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If you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, (or PCOS), you are 59 percent more likely to give birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder according to a study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry in December.

“Women with PCOS have increased levels of androgens in their bodies compared to women without PCOS, even during pregnancy,”  Kyriaki Kosidou, a psychiatrist and researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and lead author of the study. Those androgens could subtly influence the fetus’s developing brain and nervous system, Kosidou said.

“The risk was even higher among women with PCOS who were also obese, perhaps because overweight women with PCOS tend to have even higher androgen levels than average-weight women with the disorder.”

Kosidou cautioned that the link between early life androgen exposure and ASD is still unclear and that women with PCOS shouldn’t worry extensively about their children’s health.

“While we did observe an increased risk for ASD, it was a modest increase for a relatively rare disorder,” she said. “Chances are that children born to a mother with PCOS will not develop autism.”

“It is too early to make specific recommendations to clinicians in terms of care for pregnant women with PCOS, though increased awareness of this relationship might facilitate earlier detection of ASD in children whose mothers have been diagnosed with PCOS,” says Renee Gardner, senior investigator on the study, also at the Department of Public Health Sciences.

Share your thoughts below.

Image – stock photo

  • yeah yeah – over the whole blame game. my son is 24 has a form of autism and I have felt guilty, sad, angry and every other emotion every time someone comes out with a new theory….


  • yeah scary if it is true. but you accept your child no matter what.


  • Like kd


  • I wish they wouldn’t make these claims without proof to back them up! I suffer from PCOS and while I know rationally that the chances are slim, now I will be thinking irrationally about it lol


  • I agree with what mum ‘ehooper’ said. Just leave it alone and let people have their children. Whether or not people with PCOS are at risk from having a child with Autism or not – it is not going to stop them from trying. So why plant the seed of fear or doubt.


  • Not sure if I believe this, it doesn’t seem very accurate.


  • Informative, had no idea there was a link.


  • These things are always good to know.


  • What a load of rubbish….now women who suffer from PCOS is will have a child with autism….that is crazy….I suffer from PCOS and I am so sick of people telling us that our child will be disadvanged because of something that we have no control over…..I wish people would just leave each other alone NO mum needs this pressure….

    • As if mums don’t have enough to worry about, we are always no matter what worried about our own children’s health. Regardless we will do whatever it is to protect and provide the very best to our kids regardless


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