Autism and PCOS

I don’t remember what led to me being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but I went in for a very uncomfortable ultrasound where they found cysts on my ovaries and concluded I have it.  I am taking Metformin right now to “manage” it but I don’t think it is really doing anything for me.

When I was in the process of getting tested for autism, I mentioned I have PCOS and the therapist said “Good old PCOS…” and it made me wonder if PCOS is a comorbidity of autism.  I decided to do a little research and found a medical study called, “Elevated rates of testosterone-related disorders in women with autism spectrum conditions” (I’ll add the DOI at the end of this post).  Basically the study suggests that heightened testosterone levels are present in women with autism spectrum disorders.  They found that “compared to controls, significantly more women with autism spectrum conditions reported (a) hirsutism, (b) bisexuality or asexuality, (c) irregular menstrual cycle, (d) dysmenorrhea, (e) polycystic ovary syndrome, (f) severe acne, (g) epilepsy, (h) tomboyism, and (i) family history of ovarian, uterine, and prostate cancers, tumors, or growths.”  Out of those conditions named, I have/had six of nine (hirsutism, bisexuality or asexuality, irregular menstrual cycle, PCOS, tomboyism [when I was younger mostly], and a family history of prostate cancer).

I’m really fascinated by the many common comorbidities that autism has.  I’ll explore in detail a few more later, but I wanted to post about PCOS first.

DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.02.001

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