Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Welcome to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health

Welcome to the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health, a perinatal and reproductive psychiatry information center.

This website provides a range of current information including discussion of new research findings in women’s mental health and how such investigations inform day-to-day clinical practice. Despite the growing number of studies being conducted in women’s health, the clinical implications of such work are frequently controversial, leaving patients with questions regarding the most appropriate path to follow. Providing these resources to patients and their doctors so that individual clinical decisions can be made in a thoughtful and collaborative fashion dovetails with the mission of our Center.

We hope you find this website informative and we welcome your comments.

The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics:

All pregnant women ages 18-45 are eligible to enroll in the registry. We are currently seeking both controls and those being treated with one or more of the following atypical antipsychotics: 

  • Abilify (aripiprazole)
  • Clozaril (clozapine)
  • Geodon (ziprasidone)
  • Invega (paliperidone)
  • Latuda (lurasidone)
  • Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Saphris (asenapine)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Register now by calling 1-866-961-2388 and help make the future better for many other women just like you.

This study will involve 3 brief phone interviews over an 8-month period. The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics is dedicated to evaluating the safety of atypical antipsychotic medications that may be taken by women during pregnancy to treat a wide range of mood, anxiety, or psychiatric disorders. The primary goal of this Registry is to determine the frequency of major malformations, such as heart defects, cleft lip, or neural tube defects, in infants exposed to atypical antipsychotics during pregnancy. For more information, please call 1-866-961-2388.

The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Program Simches Research Builiding 185 Cambridge St Suite 2200 Boston, MA 02114

To make an appointment:

Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Program: (617) 724-7792

Latest News from our Blog

  • Pilot Study: Aripiprazole Added to Antidepressants for Postpartum Depression

    October 27, 2014

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    Augmentation strategies can be used to optimize response in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have not responded adequately to antidepressant monotherapy; however, we have no data on the use of adjunctive treatments in women with postpartum depression (PPD).   A recent study tested the effectiveness of antidepressant augmentation with aripiprazole (Abilify) in a cohort ...

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  • Older Moms at Higher Risk for Depression

    October 23, 2014

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    A recent study from Canada has observed higher rates of depression in mothers who have children after the age of 40. The prevalence of depression after delivery was about threefold higher in women aged 40 to 44 years as compared to women aged 30 to 35 years. This relationship was even stronger after controlling for ...

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  • Anti-Epileptic Drugs and Risk of Miscarriage

    October 22, 2014

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    Do anti-epileptic drugs increase the risk for miscarriage and/or stillbirth? Many reports have demonstrated an association between the use of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy and increased risk of congenital malformations and pregnancy complications, including pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth retardation.  However, little is known about the impact of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on the risk ...

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  • Prenatal Valproate Exposure and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders

    October 15, 2014

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    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), which include childhood autism, autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, atypical autism, and other pervasive developmental disorders, are characterized by social and communication difficulties and by stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests. It is estimated that autism spectrum disorders affect about 1% of children. While genes play a significant role in the risk of ...

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  • Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Schizophrenia

    October 14, 2014

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    With the advent of the newer, atypical antipsychotic medications, patients with psychotic disorders have been able to achieve greater symptom control with less disabling side effects. For women with schizophrenia, there has also been an increase in fertility rates over the last decade.  Previous studies have suggested that women with schizophrenia, as compared to women ...

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  • Stimulants Improve Cognitive Functioning in Menopausal Women

    October 3, 2014

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    Many women report cognitive difficulties — forgetfulness, distractibility, feeling foggy —during the transition to menopause.  While much attention has been devoted to the treatment of vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats, less attention has focused on the management of the memory difficulties and other cognitive problems many menopausal women may suffer. In 2011, ...

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  • Impaired Maternal Infant Bonding More Common in Women with Severe Postpartum Depression

    October 1, 2014

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    Maternal psychiatric illness can profoundly affect how a mother interacts with her child and is a risk factor for impaired mother-infant bonding, which may include a spectrum of difficulties: decreased maternal affective involvement, increased irritability, aggressive impulses, or, at worst, outright rejection of the infant (Brockington et al, 2006).  It is important to note, however, ...

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  • CBT is Effective for Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms

    September 30, 2014

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    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a type of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.  Recently, several randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that CBT is effective for managing vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women. The first study to test the effectiveness of CBT for vasomotor symptoms ...

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  • Untreated Menopausal Symptoms: The Bottom Line ($$$)

    September 23, 2014

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    Here’s a new way to look at hot flashes. How much do they cost our society in terms of additional health care and lost productivity?

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  • Poor Sleep Quality Predicts Severity of Postpartum Depression

    September 22, 2014

    woman-thinking-yellow-shirt

    All women are at risk for postpartum depression (PPD), and there is growing evidence to suggest that poor sleep during pregnancy and the postpartum period may be a risk factor for the development of depression. A recent longitudinal study supports the hypothesis that disrupted sleep may contribute to the emergence and extent of postpartum depression ...

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