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AutismOne Conference 2017


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Leslie Carol Botha Presentation

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AutismOne Conference 2017

  1. 1. Environmental Endocrine Disruption – A Crisis of Epidemic Proportions Presented by Leslie Carol Botha, WHE AutismOne 2017 Colorado Springs, CO Presentation link
  2. 2. Bio  Graduate of the National Institute of Whole Health  Educational Certificate from NeuroScience Inc., “Neurology, Endocrinology and Immunology, The New Medical Paradigm”  Internationally Recognized Expert on Women’s Hormones and Behaviors  Member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research  Author, Publisher, and Broadcast Journalist  Co-Author of Understanding Your Mind, Mood, and Hormone Cycle Botha’s work is featured in three other publications:  The World According to Cycles How Recurring Forces Can Predict the Future and Change Your Life  Teenage Girls – The Guide to Health, Wellness and Self-Esteem  She Rises – Why Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? 2
  3. 3. Synopsis We have failed to consider the impact of under-diagnosis, misdiagnosis, early-onset disease, and the potential for an increase in the incidence of illness in the context of an increasingly toxic environment and its effect on the endocrine system. In fact, most women and men have very little knowledge about the endocrine glands; their role and function and the myriad of diseases that ensue once the vital system breaks down. The degradation has even caused a growing number of women to experience an abnormal response to their normal cyclic hormonal changes. How will that affect their quality of life and the lives of their partners and children? How can we change the course of environmental damage known as endocrine disruption? 3
  4. 4. Comment on blog post on toxic chemicals and transgenderism I can tell you right now that being a former environmental and regulatory agent for a company that made and distributed plastic resins…. it is 100% ACCURATE that the chemicals mentioned can and do affect our DNA. Not only are these found in food since so many goods are packaged in plastic and metals, they are found in things we use every single day of our entire lives. They cause defects over a long period of time – think using make-up or drinking water out of bottles/jugs everyday for 20 years….or more. It is scientifically proven that these types of chemicals are hormone inhibitors, and I truly (based on science and fact) believe that this transgender shift is the effect of a very serious environmental cause. 4
  5. 5. I do not or would not ever pass judgement on a trans person – or any person especially for their gender/age/race/orientation, etc. But, there is something very seriously wrong when small children are ‘unsure’ of what they are – it is both an environmental and domestic (home) issue that needs to be addressed, with facts and very seriously with an open mind. Nina Po 5
  6. 6. Exposure to BPA potentially induces permanent reprogramming of painted turtles’ brains 6 Turtles are known as an "indicator species" because they can be used as a barometer for the health of the entire ecosystem. By understanding the possible effects endocrine disrupting chemicals have on turtles, researchers might be able to understand the possible effects such compounds have on other species. Source: Science Magazine – May 17, 2017
  7. 7. Researchers examined whether BPA and ethinyl estradiol (EE), a hormone found in birth control pills, affect the global regulatory pathways of the brain. The same turtles from earlier behavioral testing were subjected to a gene expression analysis and 235 genes were identified as being altered in turtles exposed to BPA. The gene expression changes identified in the BPA group were found to significantly alter mitochondrial and ribosomal pathways. 7
  8. 8. Rosenfeld notes that this is the first study to show a correlation between changes in gene expression patterns and behavioral changes in turtles exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals. "Correlation of altered gene expression patterns with the behavioral changes of the animals almost a year after the original exposure indicates that developmental exposure to BPA can lead to long-lasting and likely permanent effects on neurobehavioral responses," Rosenfeld said. 8
  9. 9. World Health Organization State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - 2012 An assessment of the state of the science of endocrine disruptors prepared by a group of experts for the United Nations Environment Programme and World Health Organization. 9
  10. 10.  We live in a world in which man-made chemicals have become a part of everyday life. It is clear that some of these chemical pollutants can affect the endocrine (hormonal) system, and certain of these endocrine disruptors may also interfere with the developmental processes of humans and wildlife species.  EDCs represent a challenge, as their effects depend on both the level and timing of exposure, being especially critical when exposure occurs during development.  They have diverse applications, such as pesticides, flame retardants in different products, plastic additives and cosmetics, which may result in residues or contaminants in food and other products. Therefore, EDCs may be released from the products that contain them. 10
  11. 11. Key Concerns Human and wildlife health depends on the ability to reproduce and develop normally. This is not possible without a healthy endocrine system. Three strands of evidence fuel concerns over endocrine disruptors:  the high incidence and the increasing trends of many endocrine-related disorders in humans  observations of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations;  the identification of chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties linked to disease outcomes in laboratory studies. 11
  12. 12. Endocrine-related diseases and disorders are on the rise The speed with which the increases in disease incidence have occurred in recent decades rules out genetic factors as the sole plausible explanation. Environmental and other non-genetic factors, including nutrition, age of mother, viral diseases and chemical exposures, are also at play, but are difficult to identify. Despite these difficulties, some associations have become apparent… 12
  13. 13.  Large proportions (up to 40%) of young men in some countries have low semen quality, which reduces their ability to father children.  The incidence of genital malformations, such as non-descending testes (cryptorchidism's) and penile malformations (hypospadias), in baby boys has  increased over time or levelled off at unfavorably high rates.  The incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight, has increased in many countries.  Neurobehavioral disorders associated with thyroid disruption affect a high proportion of children in some countries and have increased over past decades.  Global rates of endocrine-related cancers (breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid) have been increasing over the past 40–50 years.  There is a trend towards earlier onset of breast development in young girls in all countries where this has been studied. This is a risk factor for breast cancer.  The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased worldwide over the last 40 years. WHO estimates that 1.5 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese and that the number with type 2 diabetes increased from 153 million to 347 million between 1980 and 2008.  The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all.  This lack of data introduces significant uncertainties about the true extent of risks from chemicals that potentially could disrupt the endocrine system. 13
  14. 14.  Non-descended testes in young boys are linked with exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and with occupational pesticide exposure during pregnancy.  High exposures to polychlorinated dioxins and certain PCBs (in women who lack some detoxifying enzymes) are risk factors in breast cancer. Although exposure to natural and synthetic estrogens is associated with breast cancer, similar evidence linking estrogenic environmental chemicals with the disease is not available.  Prostate cancer risks are related to occupational exposures to pesticides (of an unidentified nature), to some PCBs and to arsenic. Cadmium exposure has been linked with prostate cancer in some, but not all, epidemiological studies, although the associations are weak.  Developmental neurotoxicity with negative impacts on brain development is linked with PCBs. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is overrepresented in populations with elevated exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Other chemicals have not been investigated.  An excess risk of thyroid cancer was observed among pesticide applicators and their wives, though the nature of the pesticides involved was not defined. 14
  15. 15.  Developmental exposures can cause changes that, while not evident as birth defects, can induce permanent changes that lead to increased incidence of diseases throughout life.  These insights from endocrine disruptor research in animals have an impact on current practice in toxicological testing and screening. Instead of solely studying effects of exposures in adulthood, the effects of exposures during sensitive windows in fetal development, perinatal life, childhood and puberty require careful scrutiny. 15
  16. 16. Numerous laboratory studies support the idea that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife. The most sensitive window of exposure to EDCs is during critical periods of development, such as during fetal development and puberty. 16
  17. 17. DES – Super Vitamins  DES contained 50,000 times more estrogen than birth control pills  Sons of DES mothers- transgender  Largest medical disaster in modern medicine until the ”Vioxx scandal” and now Gardasil – the HPV vaccine and perhaps synthetic hormone contraception  DES has not only been linked to transgenderism but also an increased risk for cervical and vaginal cancer, autoimmune diseases and infertility 17 WTSP News May 26, 2017
  18. 18. DES Sons Among "DES sons", there seem to be 3 main types of commonly experienced problems:  Intersex-related genital abnormalities (DES was often started in the first trimester, early enough to affect genital development)  Damage to the hormone regulating regions of the brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary), leading to problems such as impaired spermatogenesis and abnormally low testosterone production later in life  Psychological effects, including gender dysphoria, as well as seemingly non gender related problems such as depression, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. 18
  19. 19. Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relation to gender identity, sexual orientation and neuropsychiatric disorders US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Frontiers in neuroendocrinology, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 21334362, 2011 Apr. Abstract  During the intrauterine period a testosterone surge masculinizes the fetal brain, whereas the absence of such a surge results in a feminine brain.  As sexual differentiation of the brain takes place at a much later stage in development than sexual differentiation of the genitals, these two processes can be influenced independently of each other. 19
  20. 20.  Sex differences in cognition, gender identity (an individual’s perception of their own sexual identity), sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality), and the risks of developing neuropsychiatric disorders are programmed into our brain during early development.  There is no evidence that one’s postnatal social environment plays a crucial role in gender identity or sexual orientation. 20
  21. 21. When Being a Tall Girl was a Medical Condition: DES and the Tall Girls DES had been used in obstetrics to prevent miscarriage, in farm animals to bulk up livestock before slaughter and to caponise (castrate) chickens from the 1940s through 1970s. Early on, the drug was found to be ineffective in preventing miscarriage and serious side effects including cancer were noted. Indeed, cancer in farm hands caring for animals treated with DES and concern about the effect DES infused meat might have on human health caused the FDA to ban its use in poultry farming in 1958, well before banning its use in human women. Despite the risks associated with this drug, clinicians and researchers in Victoria Australia, funded by governmental agencies and throughout the US, Norway, and elsewhere, thought stunting the growth of tall girls, for purely psychosocial reasons, was a good idea. 21
  22. 22. “The ability of synthetic chemicals to alter reproductive function and health in females has been demonstrated clearly by the consequences of diethylstilbestrol (DES) use by pregnant women…. The daughters of women given treatment with DES were shown to have rare cervicovaginal cancers. Since the initial 1971 publication linking treatment of women with DES and genital tract cancers in offspring, other abnormalities have been observed as the daughters have aged, including decreased fertility and increased rates of ectopic pregnancy, increased breast cancer, and early menopause. Many of these disorders have been replicated in laboratory animals treated developmentally with DES.” 22
  23. 23. Save the Pap Smear! A DES Daughter’s Perspective on Cervical Cancer and the HPV Vaccine 23 Source: Hormones Matter – Marian Vickers May 1, 2017
  24. 24. 24 The lessons learned from 40 years of DES research are that the female fetus is susceptible to environmentally induced reproductive abnormalities, that gonadal organogenesis is sensitive to synthetic hormones during a critical fetal exposure window, that reproductive diseases may not appear until decades after exposures, and that many female reproductive disorders may co-occur.
  25. 25. As explained in Barbara Seaman’s highly recommended book The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth (2003), Dodds was aware of what a powerful and potentially carcinogenic drug he had synthesised. In the months following the discovery Dodds became increasingly concerned about the carcinogenicity of the newly synthesised drug. In his laboratory he noticed that men on his staff who handled the stilboestrol powder were growing breasts, suggesting to him stilboestrol might cause breast cancer in men. He suggested that animal studies be carried out looking at the carcinogenicity of stilboestrol in male rodents. In 1940 a paper was published showing that stilboestrol caused mammary cancers in both male and female mice. 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. DES Daughters and the HPV Vaccine Why would you bother having a part-HPV vaccine when we knew through experience that even high-grade squamous-cell abnormalities usually resolved spontaneously without any intervention? The vaccine was designed to prevent the very abnormalities that empirical evidence of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) showed would resolve anyway – crazy. We looked on in bemusement at the HPV hysteria that erupted in 2006. It was an extraordinary example of manipulating the media for commercial gain when the drug manufacturer orchestrated the listing of Gardasil on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the National Immunisaton Program. 27
  28. 28. This is a public health crisis in the making. There are two type of cervical cancer and the proposed policy is focused on just one. It is modeled exclusively on squamous cancer and ignores empirical evidence from the NCSP that glandular cancer now represents approximately 30% of cervical cancers diagnosed in Australia today. This will put the lives of women, particularly young women, at risk. 28
  29. 29. Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol during Sensitive Life Stages: A legacy of heritable health effects Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a potent estrogen mimic that was predominantly used from the 1940s to 1970s in hopes of preventing miscarriage in pregnant women. Decades later, DES is known to enhance breast cancer risk in exposed women, and cause a variety of birth related adverse outcomes in their daughters such as spontaneous abortion, second trimester pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, stillbirth, and neonatal death. Additionally, children exposed to DES in utero suffer from sub/infertility and cancer of reproductive tissues. DES is a pinnacle compound which demonstrates the fetal basis of adult disease. The mechanisms of cancer and endocrine disruption induced by DES are not fully understood. Future studies should focus on common target tissue pathways affected and the health of the DES grandchildren. 29 Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 Nov 5.
  30. 30. The Presence of Gender Dysphoria, Transsexualism, and Disorders of Sexual Differentiation in Males Prenatally Exposed to DES: Initial Evidence from a 5-Year Study 2004 - It is estimated that as many as five to ten million Americans received DES during pregnancy or were exposed to the drug in utero between the late 1940s and early 1970s (Giusti, Iwamoto, and Hatch, 1995). The numbers of male offspring exposed in utero to DES (“DES sons”) have been estimated at between one and three million in the U.S. (Laitman, Jonler, and Messing, 1997) and similar estimates exist for the numbers of American females exposed in utero (Edelman, 1986). Hundreds of thousands of DES sons and daughters were also born in Canada, Europe and Australia during a similar period. 30
  31. 31. Lupron, Estradiol and the Mitochondria: A Pathway to Adverse Reactions Leuprolide, more commonly known as Lupron, is the GnRH agonist prescribed for endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cysts, undiagnosed pelvic pain, precocious puberty, during infertility treatments, to treat some cancers, and a host of other off-label uses. It induces a chemical castration in both women and men. In women, Lupron stops menstruation and ovulation and crashes endogenous estradiol synthesis rapidly and completely, inducing menopause and menopause-associated symptoms like hot flashes, sweats and osteoporosis, to name but a few. In men, where it is used as a treatment for prostate cancer, it prevents the synthesis of testosterone, pharmacologically castrating its users and evoking a similar constellation of symptoms. 31
  32. 32. Hormone Receptors are Ubiquitous Hormones mediate these reactions via hormone receptors. Estrogen and androgen receptors are located throughout the brain and the nervous system, on the heart, system, in fat cells, in immune cells, in muscle, the pancreas, the gallbladder, the liver, everywhere. When hormones bind to these receptors, whether they are membrane bound, nuclear, or other types, the hormone-receptor complex activates deactivates what are called signal transduction pathways, essentially message lines. Those messaging lines tell the cell to do something. Too much or too little of any type of hormone, sends mixed messages, skewing cell behavior just slightly at first when there are only small changes in hormone concentration, but with more chronic or more severe hormone changes, the signals become increasingly more deranged and the compensatory reactions, meant only for short term, become more exaggerated and self-perpetuating. 32
  33. 33. Environmental factors, epigenetics, and developmental origin of reproductive disorders  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Reproductive toxicology, 2016 33
  34. 34. Highlights  Epidemiological and model system studies support an early origin of dysfunction.  Estrogenic/anti-androgenic chemicals as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have vast developmental influences on adult reproductive outcomes.  Gestational, perinatal, neonatal, and pubertal periods are “windows of susceptibility” for epigenetic programming.  EDCs induce exposure-specific epigenetic modifications in regulatory genes in organs of the reproductive system.  Germline epigenetic disruption is a mechanism underlying transgenerational inheritance of reproductive disorders. 34
  35. 35.  Animal data indicate that ovarian reserve, female cycling, adult uterine abnormalities, sperm quality, prostate disease, and mating behavior are susceptible to DOHaD (developmental origins of health and disease) effects induced by EDCs such as bisphenol A, genistein, (phytoestrogen) diethylstilbestrol, p,p’- dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (pesticide), phthalates, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.  Mechanisms underlying these EDC effects include direct mimicry of sex steroids or morphogens and interference with epigenomic sculpting during cell and tissue differentiation.  Exposure to EDCs is associated with abnormal DNA methylation and other epigenetic modifications, as well as altered expression of genes important for development and function of reproductive tissues. 35
  36. 36. A novel embryological theory of autism causation involving endogenous biochemicals capable of initiating cellular gene transcription: a possible link between twelve autism risk factors and the autism 'epidemic'.  King CR. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Prenatal/maternal factors linked to increased autism risk include valproic acid, thalidomide, alcohol, rubella, cytomegalovirus, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive- compulsive disorder, autoimmune disease, stress, allergic reaction, and hypothyroidism. Thalidomide 'caused up to 10,000 miscarriages and infant deaths in UK' 36
  37. 37. “Maternal Immune Activation” can cause autism “As we learn more about the connections between the brain and the immune system, we find that these seemingly independent networks of cells are, in fact, continually talking to each other. As an adult, the activation of your immune system causes many striking changes in your behavior—increased sleep, loss of appetite, less social interaction—and, of course, headaches. Conversely, stress in your life (as perceived by your brain) can influence immune function—the brain regulates immune organs, such as the spleen, via the autonomic nervous system.” Did Chinese scientists find autism’s missing puzzle piece? BY J.B. HANDLEY February 22, 2017 37
  38. 38. Recent evidence shows that this brain-immune conversation actually starts during the development of the embryo, where the state of the mother’s immune system can alter the growth of cells in the fetal brain. As we shall see, such alterations can lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia or autism in the offspring.” 38
  39. 39. Birth Control in Drinking Water: A Fertility Catastrophe in the Making? WASHINGTON — A recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that birth- control hormones excreted by women, flushed into waterways and eventually into drinking water can also impact fish fertility up to three generations after exposure — raising questions about their effects on humans, who are consuming the drugs without even knowing it in each glass of water they drink. “This study shows that even though endocrine disruptors may not affect the life of the exposed fish, it may negatively affect future generations,” said lead author of the study Ramji Bhandari, a USGS visiting scientist and University of Missouri assistant research professor. “If similar trends were observed in subsequent generations, a severe decline in overall population numbers might be expected by the F4 generation.” Source: National Catholic Register June 2015 39
  40. 40. IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE ‘THE PILL’ OVER-THE- COUNTER, TEEN GIRLS ARE BEING USED AS PAWNS What’s even more frightening about giving young girls hormonal birth control is that it literally affects their brain development. In a 2015 study on the long-term effects of the hormonal birth control pill, it was discovered that the use of HBC “was associated with significantly lower cortical thickness measurements in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex.” Translation: the orbitofrontal cortex is the part of the brain that sits just above your eyes and is responsible for rational thought and reasoning as well as the expression of our personalities. So, the thinner this part of the brain is the less able one is to think rationally, to reason logically, or to express one’s complete personality, and HBC use thins this part of the brain. Let that sink in for a minute. 40
  41. 41. Oral contraceptive pill use is associated with localized decreases in cortical thickness  Abstract Oral contraceptive pills (OCs), which are used to prevent pregnancy by the majority of women in the United States, contain steroid hormones that may affect the brain's structure and function. In this investigation, we tested the hypothesis that OC use is associated with differences in brain structure using a hypothesis-driven, surface-based approach. In 90 women, (44 OC users, 46 naturally-cycling women), we compared the cortical thickness of brain regions that participate in the salience network and the default mode network, as well as the volume of subcortical regions in these networks.  Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Jul;36(7):2644-54. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22797. Epub 2015 Apr 2. 41
  42. 42. We found that OC use was associated with significantly lower cortical thickness measurements in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. These regions are believed to be important for responding to rewards and evaluating internal states/incoming stimuli, respectively. Further investigations are needed to determine if cortical thinning in these regions are associated with behavioral changes, and also to identify whether OC use is causally or only indirectly related to these changes in brain morphology. Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Jul;36(7):2644-54. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22797. Epub 2015 Apr 2. 42
  43. 43. Dysfunction of orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices in children and adolescents with high-functioning pervasive developmental disorders  Abstract Several lines of evidence suggest that dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) contributes to the pathophysiology of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). The purpose of this study was to investigate neuropsychological dysfunctions in both the DLPFC and OFC of children and adolescents with high-functioning PDD. Annals of General Psychiatry 2013 12:31 DOI: 10.1186/1744-859X-12-31 © Sawa et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate Brand Names: U.S.  Makena Pharmacologic Category  Progestin Pharmacology  Hydroxyprogesterone is a synthetic progestin. The mechanism by which hydroxyprogesterone reduces the risk of recurrent preterm birth is not known. 45
  46. 46. Exposure to the Synthetic Progestin, 17α- Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate During Development Impairs Cognitive Flexibility in Adulthood The synthetic progestin, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, is increasingly used for the prevention of premature birth in at-risk women, despite little understanding of the potential effects on the developing brain. In the present study, exposure to 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate 17-OHPC during development of the mesocortical dopamine pathway in rats altered dopaminergic innervation of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and impaired cognitive flexibility with increased perseveration later in life, perhaps to a greater extent in males. Endocrinology (2016) 157 (1): 77-82. 01 January 2016 46
  47. 47. Receiving Food and Drug Administration approval in 2011, the administration of the synthetic progestin, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC), to women considered at risk for premature delivery is increasing dramatically (1, 2), despite little information regarding the potential effects on fetal development. 17-OHPC is prescribed during the late second and early third trimesters and can be detected in maternal and fetal plasma more than a month after the last injection (3), suggesting that fetuses may be exposed to 17-OHPC during critical periods of cortical development, particularly during the maturation of the mesocortical dopamine pathway (4, 5), a neural circuit important for executive function. 47
  48. 48. In humans, 17-OHPC can be transferred from maternal to fetal circuits of the human placenta (17), and fetuses may be exposed to 17-OHPC well past the last treatment and longer than originally thought (2). The present findings reporting neurocognitive effects reminiscent of those often associated with developmental disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism (18–20) should highlight the need for additional research on the potential effects in children and contribute to the assessment of the benefits vs the potential risks of synthetic progestin administration in pregnant women. Oxford Academic Endocrinology (2016) 157 (1): 77-82. 48
  49. 49. To our knowledge, the results from this study provide the first documentation of long- term consequences of 17-OHPC exposure during development on cognitive behavior and offer more insight into the potential role of progestins in neural development. 49
  50. 50. An Overview of No-Estrogen Contraception  Progestin-only birth control are contraceptive methods that only contain the hormone progestin. This means that they do not have any estrogen. These methods are a good alternative if you want to use a hormonal birth control method, but you can not use a combination contraceptive. Progestin-only methods tend to be safer options if you:  Are over the age of 35 and smoke.  Have a history of blood clots.  Have high blood pressure. verywell – April 2017 50
  51. 51.  Progestin-only birth control can be used by most women without any problems. These methods are also a good option for:  Breastfeeding mothers who have been breastfeeding for at least a month. The progestin will not affect your milk production or harm your baby during nursing.  Non-breastfeeding women who have just given birth.  Women who can't use combination birth control pills due to estrogen-related side effects, like headaches, severe nausea, or high blood pressure.  Obese and overweight women.  Nulliparous women—women who have never given birth.  Teenagers, though Depo Provera is not recommended for teens because it has a black box warning about possible bone loss. 51
  52. 52. Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills  Progestin-only birth control pills (also known as the mini-pill or POPs) are a type of birth control pill that does not contain any estrogen. Progestin-only pills are only come in 28-day packs, so you have to take one of these pills every day for each four week cycle. All 28 pills contain progestin—there are no placebo pills. The mini-pill only comes in one progestin formulation, but is sold under different names. In the United States, it is called norethindrone (.35 mg). 51
  53. 53. Depo Provera (Pfizer) (also known as the birth control vaccine)  Depo Provera is a birth control shot. Each depo injection slowly releases the progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate and will give you pregnancy protection for 11 to 14 weeks. So, if you use Depo Provera, you will receive four injections each year.  Depo Provera injections also offer the added non-contraceptive benefit of being able to help lower the pain associated with endometriosis. 52
  54. 54. Mirena IUD (Bayer)  The Mirena IUD is a small, T-shaped flexible device. After it has been inserted, it continuously releases a small amount of progestin over a five year period. Because Mirena has progestin, it is a little more effective than the ParaGard IUD.  The Mirena IUD has strings that hang down through your cervix into your vagina. The strings can allow for you to check that the IUD is still in place. Your doctor can also use the strings to remove your Mirena, which needs to happen after five years or any time before you have reached the five year time limit. The Mirena IUD has also been FDA-approved to help treat heavy periods. 53
  55. 55. Nexplanon (Merck & Co)  Nexplanon is an implant—it is the newer version of Implanon. This is a progestin-only birth control implant that contains 68mg of the progestin etonogestrel. It consists of a thin, flexible plastic implant about the size of a matchstick. Nexplanon is inserted under the skin in the arm. Once inserted, it provides you with pregnancy protection for up to three years.  Nexplanon is radiopaque, meaning that it can be seen in an x-ray, so your doctor can make sure it has been properly placed. Insertion requires a local anesthetic and only takes a few minutes. The progestin-only implant should be removed after three years or anytime before you reach the three year limit. 54
  56. 56. Skyla Progestin-Only IUD (Bayer)  Skyla is another IUD option. It is a little bit smaller than Mirena and ParaGard, so it may be easier to insert. The Skyla IUD must be inserted by a qualified doctor.  It slowly releases the progestin— levonorgestrel—over a three year period as a way to prevent pregnancy. Like IUDs and Nexplanon, Skyla is considered to be an effective long-term reversible contraceptive. 55
  57. 57. Noristerat Injection (Bayer) The noristerat injection is a reversible method of prescription birth control. It is not available in the United States, but is common in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, and Central America. This progestin-only birth control injection contains the synthetic progestin norethisterone enantate. The noristerat injection is designed to be a short-term birth control method. Women usually choose this option when being immunized against rubella or while waiting for their partner's vasectomy to become effective. The noristerat injection will continuously release progestin into your bloodstream over a period of eight weeks, so it provides pregnancy protection for up to two months. 57
  58. 58. Depression and Mood Disorders: Trivialized Side Effects of Birth Control Trivializing changes in the brain’s chemistry, or for that matter, any of the body’s chemistry is a dangerous game of roulette. It’s akin to the early days of The Pill when doctors recognized that synthetic hormones altered the chemistry in a woman’s breasts. Rather than be concerned about what these changes might mean in the long run, they turned it into a marketing point. It makes your breasts fuller! Only after it was undeniably linked to breast cancer did they acknowledge the changes could be a cause for concern. 58 Hormones Matter March 20, 2017
  59. 59. Sex hormone-sensitive gene complex linked to premenstrual mood disorder  National Institutes of Health January 2017 Dysregulated cellular response to estrogen and progesterone suspected. (NIH) researchers have discovered molecular mechanisms that may underlie a woman’s susceptibility to disabling irritability, sadness, and anxiety in the days leading up to her menstrual period. Such premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects 2 to 5 percent of women of reproductive age, whereas less severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is much more common. 59
  60. 60.  Progestin-only birth control can be used by most women without any problems. These methods are also a good option for:  Breastfeeding mothers who have been breastfeeding for at least a month. The progestin will not affect your milk production or harm your baby during nursing.  Non-breastfeeding women who have just given birth.  Women who can't use combination birth control pills due to estrogen-related side effects, like headaches, severe nausea, or high blood pressure.  Obese and overweight women.  Nulliparous women—women who have never given birth.  Teenagers, though Depo Provera is not recommended for teens because it has a black box warning about possible bone loss. 60
  61. 61. Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression  JAMA Network November 2016 Abstract Importance Millions of women worldwide use hormonal contraception. Despite the clinical evidence of an influence of hormonal contraception on some women’s mood, associations between the use of hormonal contraception and mood disturbances remain inadequately addressed. Conclusions and Relevance Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use. 61
  62. 62. “We found dysregulated expression in a suspect gene complex which adds to evidence that PMDD is a disorder of cellular response to estrogen and progesterone,” explained Peter Schmidt, M.D. of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, Behavioral Endocrinology Branch. “Learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment of such prevalent reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders.” Schmidt, David Goldman, M.D., of the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and colleagues, report on their findings January 3, 2017 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. 62
  63. 63. Children with autism have elevated levels of steroid hormones in the womb June 3, 2014 University of Cambridge Scientists have discovered that children who later develop autism are exposed to elevated levels of steroid hormones (for example testosterone, progesterone and cortisol) in the womb. The finding may help explain why autism is more common in males than females, but should not be used to screen for the condition. Steroid hormones help control metabolism, inflammation, immune functions, salt and water balance, development of sexual characteristics, and the ability to withstand illness and injury. The term steroid describes both hormones produced by the body and artificially produced medications that duplicate the action for the naturally occurring steroids.* 63
  64. 64. The team, led by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr Michael Lombardo in Cambridge and Professor Bent Nørgaard-Pedersen in Denmark, utilized approximately 19,500 amniotic fluid samples stored in a Danish biobank from individuals born between 1993-1999. Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby in the womb during pregnancy and is collected when some women choose to have an amniocentesis around 15-16 weeks of pregnancy. This coincides with a critical period for early brain development and sexual differentiation, and thus allows scientists access into this important window in fetal development. The researchers identified amniotic fluid samples from 128 males later diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition and matched these up with information from a central register of all psychiatric diagnoses in Denmark. 64
  65. 65. There is also the potential for some EDCs to produce effects that can cross generations, meaning that exposure may affect not only the development of the first offspring but also their offspring over generations. This means that effects of EDCs could increase over generations due to both transgenerational transmission of the modified epigenetic programming, and the continued exposure across generations possibly imparting disease sensitivity later in time. Thus, the ability of ancestral exposures to promote disease susceptibility greatly complicates the possible threat to the health of subsequent generations, through exposure to EDCs such as EE2. 65
  66. 66. Exploring the Nexus Between Estrogen, Autism, and Vaccine Injury 66 Hormones Matter, May 25, 2017
  67. 67. If some estrogen-sensitive brain growth is necessary for a human brain to become masculine, then there should be a point where this growth becomes excessive and atypical. Male fetuses would logically be more susceptible than females to this excessive growth, due to their relatively higher baseline level of estrogen-sensitive brain development. And if neurodevelopmental autism results after a specific threshold of estrogen-sensitive brain growth is achieved, it would stand to reason than males would be at greater risk than females for developing this form of autism. 67
  68. 68. The Complications of Multiple Avenues of Causation In closing, it is important to note that the estrogen theory suggests that autism might be a naturally occurring human condition, which has increased in incidence only because (a) widespread folic acid supplementation has magnified the chances of developing it, and (b) the number of estrogenic chemicals in our environment has been, and still is, on an ever- increasing trajectory. It is also important to note that the estrogen theory contemplates genetic susceptibility to autism coming from what might be an entire universe of genetic mutation combinations that compose, affect, or depend upon the methylation cycle, in addition to genes that affect hormone production. Research will never uncover a consistent genetic liability if this is true. 68
  69. 69. In addition, if a multitude of estrogenic substances and conditions are the underlying cause of neurodevelopmental autistic traits, and if vaccines are the underlying cause of regressive encephalopathy and associated medical co-morbidities, then epidemiological studies of prenatal folic acid consumption will likely result in as much uncertainty as genetic studies have. 69
  70. 70. A critical assessment of the “sterile womb” and “in utero colonization” hypotheses: implications for research on the pioneer infant microbiome  Abstract After more than a century of active research, the notion that the human fetal environment is sterile and that the neonate’s microbiome is acquired during and after birth was an accepted dogma. However, recent studies using molecular techniques suggest bacterial communities in the placenta, amniotic fluid, and meconium from healthy pregnancies. These findings have led many scientists to challenge the “sterile womb paradigm” and propose that microbiome acquisition instead begins in utero, an idea that would fundamentally change our understanding of gut microbiota acquisition and its role in human development. 70 Microbiome20175:48 Published: 28 April 2017
  71. 71.  I would be extremely interested to get your advice in relation to my 17 year old daughter. She has Asperger's (high functioning autism). Suffers anxiety and depression to a high level. Is currently is a self harm / suicidal phase. Has heavy periods. Has severe PMS and mood swings. Her school and ambitions of obtaining a good enough entry for medicine is being severely affected by her current illnesses. She also suffers recurrent migraines. Dr, has recommended Implanon. From my research this does not in any way appear to be a solution for my girl. What are your thoughts before I take our dr to task for what I believe is a monumental mistake. I look forward to hearing back from you as I'm at my wits end and I don't want to see my daughter suffering like this anymore. 71
  72. 72. Do We Really Understand Oral Contraceptives? While researching my hypothesis linking oral contraceptive use to the development of autism in children, I wondered about why so many women are still using a drug that has dangerous side-effect and could cause neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring. The simple answer seems to be lack of accurate medical information. Not only do individual women lack critical information about the pill, but the support systems women depend on for advice and help with decision-making also seem to lack information about the pill.  Source: Hormones Matter Kim Strifert, MA April 2017 72
  73. 73. Points to Ponder  January study on PMDD  Chemically induced PMDD  Timing of exposure to environmental estrogens and other exogenous chemicals  Epigenetic affects of xenoestrogens on future generations  Exposure to progestins via birth control and pregnancy  Thinning of the orbital frontal cortex and ASD  Affect on the fetal neurodevelopment  Fallacy of the HPV vaccine program  Birth Control – the largest uncontrolled medical experiment in medical history 73