Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS increases the risk of having a child with autism by nearly 60%.
Women with PCOS have enlarged ovaries with small cysts that produce excessive amounts of androgens or male hormones. Androgens are critical to the development of the brain and central nervous system. The exposure to sex hormones early in fetal development likely plays a role in the child’s risk of autism.
Between 5% and 15% of women have been diagnosed with PCOS.
Although it’s uncertain if it causes autism, women with the condition should educate themselves about the earliest signs of autism such as limited eye contact, failure to laugh or babble and follow mother’s gaze.
Create a team with a pediatric speech and language therapist and a child development specialist ahead of the birth so your questions can be answered early and confidently.
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