Does The Pill Cause Autism?

cause of autism

This question: "What's the cause of autism?"

– belies our attachment to an old model of medicine in which diseases have linear causes and one-drug remedies. In today's health market, sickness is syndromal. It is a collection of symptoms without a single identifiable cause, and without safe or effective treatment options. It is a hamster-wheel lifestyle of doctor's visits and piles of prescriptions.

In functional medicine, we use the analogy of a bucket. Our buckets get filled with genetic variants, toxic environmental exposures, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and pharmaceutical burden until, one day, our buckets overflow. That's the day we go to the doctor. Autism is a bucket diagnosis. Vaccination may be the only trigger that can overflow the bucket in one single exposure. With government-compensated cases of regressive autism after a single vaccine, plausible scientific mechanism1 2 3, and now a top-level CDC whistleblower admitted to suppressed data on the connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, the claims of millions of parents around the world are vindicated.

This said, it would be hypocritically reductionist to focus only on vaccination to the exclusion of ultrasound, tylenol, pesticides, endocrine disruptors, and air pollution, for example.

A new commentary in Medical Hypothesis by Strifert calls birth control pills to the carpet. With close to 11 million women in the United States using oral contraceptives, or 82% of reproductive age women, this is an exposure almost as universal as those listed above.

She begins with the powerful, but almost obvious statement that,

The suppression of ovulation produced by estrogen–progesterone is an indisputable abnormality.

The article is an exploration of the dearth of longitudinal research on oral contraceptives despite 60 years of clinical use. Because of presumptions of safety, further research has largely come to a halt. Plausible basis for risk association includes:

  • Temporal correlation between use of oral contraceptives and increased prevalence of ASD.
  • To date no definitive cause or contributing factors for increase in ASD prevalence has been established.
  • Oral contraceptives disrupt the endocrine system
  • Oral contraceptives directly and deleteriously affect both the ovaries and ova.
  • Likely effects of oral contraceptives on progeny are an open question.
  • The called-for further study and controlled follow-up of the possible transgenerational effects of oral contraceptive use has not been executed.*
* 1966 FDA report advising controlled follow-up by Roy Hertz, M.D., and 2009 article on epigenetic side-effects of common pharmaceuticals by M.B. Szyf.

Ethinylestradiol - the estrogen in the pill - is categorized as an endocrine disruptor, "11-27 times more potent than natural estrogen (E2)" which is combined with a synthetic progesterone. The inflammatory, nutrient depleting, and hormonally disturbing impact of this pharmaceutical each contribute risk factors to women considering a pregnancy. Women, who, if they are anything like I was, stop birth control the month before they try to conceive.

When we treat women's bodies like repositories for chemicals, we clear the path for the same treatment of their children, and their children's children. It is time to drain our buckets, beginning with avoidance of pharmaceuticals marketed as safe, effective, and even necessary.


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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More