Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Abuse as a Risk Factor for Perinatal Depression

Two recent reports explore the relationship between abuse and risk for perinatal depression. The first is a study which analyzed data from 53,065 pregnant women participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).  Exposure (as an adult) to emotional, sexual, or physical abuse was based on self-report at week 30 of pregnancy, differentiating […]

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What is S-Equol? Does It Really Work for Menopausal Symptoms?

Approximately 70% of all women experience hot flashes and/or night sweats (also called vasomotor symptoms or VMS) during the menopause transition.  Although estrogen-containing hormone therapy is highly effective in managing these symptoms, various studies have raised concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone therapy and many women now use other non-hormonal options to manage their symptoms, including over-the-counter complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), including soy isoflavones, black cohosh, and omega-3 fatty acids.  However, the data regarding the effectiveness of these alternative treatments has been mixed.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy: Some Risk But No Impact on Mortality

While there are concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone replacement, an increasing number of studies suggest that the risk may be relatively low in certain settings.  A study presented this week at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting which analyzed data from 43 randomized clinical trials suggests that menopausal hormone-replacement therapy does not appear to affect mortality either positively or negatively.

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What is The Best Screening Tool for Antenatal Depression

About 10% to 15% of women experience clinically significant depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Furthermore, women with a history of major depression appear to be at high risk for recurrent illness during pregnancy particularly in the setting of antidepressant discontinuation.  We have long argued that it is important to identify and to offer treatment to women […]

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Pregnancy Loss May Affect Mood in Subsequent Pregnancies

Many women experience the loss of a pregnancy at some time in their lives. It is estimated that about 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. In the United States, another 14% end in termination.1 The outcomes of pregnancies following a loss have been studied extensively, in order to understand whether those pregnancies will have […]

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You Asked: Is Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Safe To Use During Pregnancy?

We receive a fair number of questions on the use of duloxetine during pregnancy.  Duloxetine (sold in the United Sates under the brand name of Cymbalta) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) effective for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It has also been FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain and […]

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Treating Depression During Pregnancy Prevents Postpartum Depression

This is a relatively small study but I think it underscores the importance of screening for and treating depression during pregnancy.  Previous studies have indicated that about 10% to 15% of women experience clinically significant depressive symptoms during pregnancy; however, depression that emerges during pregnancy often goes untreated. A recent naturalistic study from Turkey followed […]

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