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

  • Medications and Pregnancy: A Focus on the Pharmacokinetics

    November 19, 2014

    We have an abundance of articles which address the impact of psychotropic medications on pregnancy.  Much less research, however, has focused on how pregnancy may affect how these medications work.  Physiologic changes take place during pregnancy which may affect the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of medications.  These pharmacokinetic changes may result in lower psychotropic ...

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  • New Guidelines Limit Testosterone Supplements for Women

    November 17, 2014

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    Both men and women produce testosterone. The big difference is that the levels are much lower in women, around 15 to 40 ng/dL.  In women, testosterone levels begin to decline gradually after the age of 20. In postmenopausal women, testosterone levels are between 0 and 20 ng/dL.  Various symptoms have been attributed to falling levels ...

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  • PTSD in Veterans Increases Risk of Preterm Birth

    November 11, 2014

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    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is relatively common among pregnant and postpartum women. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD for women is about 10%.  PTSD is most prevalent among women of childbearing age and PTSD symptoms are common during pregnancy.  Earlier this year, we reported on a study which observed that women with a diagnosis of PTSD ...

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  • Postpartum Depression and Positive Parenting Practices

    November 10, 2014

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    How does postpartum depression affect a mother’s ability to care for and parent her child?  Various studies have demonstrated that depressed mothers may be less attuned to their children’s needs, either being less responsive to the baby or, in some cases, too intrusive.  Researchers have speculated that this mismatch between mother and baby may contribute ...

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  • SSRI exposure during pregnancy: What’s enough data?

    October 31, 2014

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    The following post was first published in OB/GYN News. Numerous studies on the reproductive safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been published, particularly over the last decade. With the different methodologies used and often disparate results, the extensive data now available in the medical literature can be overwhelming for clinicians and researchers to sort ...

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  • 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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