This is a difficult question to answer categorically. It’s a very personal choice. All I can do is tell you what I know and what I would do if I were pregnant.
There have not been, nor are there ever likely to be, studies done on the safety of DCI during pregnancy. As it is not patentable, being identical to a substance manufactured in nature, there is insufficient monetary incentive for anyone to fund these studies. On the other hand, I can tell you that:
- DCI is a substance found in healthy human bodies, which plays a critical role in carbohydrate metabolism through the insulin signalling pathway.
- We take supplemental DCI because women with PCOS/IR etc appear to have a defect in inositol metabolism which prevents us from obtaining DCI from food, manufacturing it from inositol in vivo and also makes us excrete whatever DCI we do manage to obtain many times more quickly than other human beings. In summary, we are restoring the status quo, rather than taking a nutrient in doses larger than normally obtained through the diet in order to achieve a pseudo-pharmaceutical effect.
- DCI is naturally derived, close to 100% pure chemically and is something that can be found in some foods.
- By regulating carbohydrate metabolism and normalising elevated insulin and blood glucose levels, DCI helps to balance female reproductive hormones, by preventing the inhibition of progesterone production which occurs with elevated levels of testosterone (a side effect of elevated insulin levels). Progesterone is essential for sustaining pregnancy. It is the ‘pregnancy hormone’. If there is insufficient progesterone, miscarriage is likely. Progesterone insufficiency is the leading cause of miscarriage amongst women with PCOS. The placenta will takeover progesterone production from around the 12th week, which is when the risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced.
- During pregnancy, insulin sensitivity is dulled in everyone, not just those with PCOS/IR. All women are at higher risk of diabetes during pregnancy or in later life partially as a result of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is usually transitory, resolving after birth, however, it increases the risk of diabetes in later life for both the mother and the child. Elevated insulin and blood sugar levels during pregnancy have a negative effect on the foetus.
- Women with PCOS have higher rates of:
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclamsia)
- Premature delivery
- Babies born to women with PCOS have a higher risk of spending time in a neonatal intensive care unit or of dying before, during, or shortly after birth. Most of the time, these problems occur in multiple-birth babies (twins, triplets).
As the main cause of hormonal imbalance in women with PCOS stems from insulin resistance, normalising insulin sensitivity seems like a good way to reduce the risk of these things happening during pregnancy.
I cannot advise you on the right course of action – this is a decision that ultimately only you can make, in conjunction with your doctor.
All I can do is share with you what I would do. If I were pregnant I would definitely continue taking my DCI. I consider it likely to be an exceptionally safe substance. I believe that the risks of not taking it vastly outweigh any potential risks of taking it.
If you or your doctor have any further questions, please let me know. I’m here to help.