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A New Strategy for Managing Premenstrual Symptoms

Current research suggests that women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) have an abnormal affective response to normal hormonal shifts that occur during the menstrual cycle. Some researchers have hypothesized a metabolite of progesterone (PROG), allopregnanolone (ALLO), may mediate this sensitivity. In rodents, exposure to or withdrawal from ALLO modulates GABA-A receptors and, in this way, […]

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New Data on Anxiety Medications and Pregnancy

Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics are commonly used during pregnancy. However, there data regarding the reproductive safety of these agents has been somewhat mixed. Although initial reports suggested that there may be an increased risk of cleft lip and palate, more recent reports have shown no association between exposure to benzodiazepines and risk for cleft lip […]

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Smoking While Pregnant: What are the Effects on the Developing Fetal Brain?

When women come to us for consultation, we focus primarily on the risks of exposure to psychotropic medications. It is important, however, to consider the impact of other, potentially harmful, exposures that are common in women who suffer from psychiatric illness. For example, pregnant women with psychiatric illness are more likely to smoke and to […]

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Research from the CWMH: For Menopausal Women Venlafaxine Does Not Appear to Affect Sexual Functioning

While many midlife women are interested in pursuing non-hormonal options for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, they are understandably concerned about taking antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, that, while effective for treating hot flashes and night sweats, are commonly associated with sexual side effects. A recent study indicates that venlafaxine (Effexor, an SNRI […]

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Relaxation Exercises During Pregnancy: What are the Benefits for Mothers and Babies?

A significant number of women experience anxiety symptoms during pregnancy, with nearly 10% of women meeting criteria for generalized anxiety disorder. Even more women suffer from milder anxiety symptoms or what some refer to as “stress” during pregnancy. Of concern is the data suggesting that women who experience anxiety during pregnancy have worse outcomes, including […]

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Depression and Anxiety Common in High-Risk Obstetric Patients

In this study 62 women hospitalized for high-risk obstetrical complications completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7), and Short-Form 12 (SF-12) weekly until delivery or discharge and once after delivery. The EPDS was suggestive of depression (a score of ? 10) in 27% of the women (n=17) and clinically […]

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Caffeine for Menopausal Women: More Hot Flashes but Less Mood and Memory Problems

A recent study of 2507 menopausal women suggests that menopausal women with higher caffeine intake are more likely to have hot flashes and night sweats; however, they have fewer problems with mood, memory, and concentration. Read more in Medscape Faubion SS, Sood R, Thielen JM, Shuster LT. Caffeine and menopausal symptoms: what is the association? […]

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Anxiety and PTSD Associated with Preterm Birth

A recent study followed 29 mothers who gave birth to 35 premature children born before the 33rd week of pregnancy. The women were assessed within 2 weeks postpartum (T0), 2 weeks after hospitalization (T1), 6 months post-term (T2), and 18 months post-term (T3). The Impact of Event Scale (IES), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-X1) were used to assess maternal mental health outcomes.

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Antipsychotics and Pregnancy Part 1: Preliminary Data from the Australian Registry

This is the first part of a two part series on the use of antipsychotic medications during pregnancy. Atypical antipsychotic medications are commonly used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Despite the increasing use of these medications in women of child-bearing age, there is still relatively little data regarding the reproductive safety and […]

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