Lithium and Anticonvulsant Mood Stabilizers: No Higher Risk for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

For women with bipolar disorder, choosing whether to maintain or discontinue treatment with a mood stabilizer during pregnancy is challenging.  This is a process which requires careful and thoughtful consideration, weighing the risk of adverse outcomes associated with exposure to a particular drug against the risk of recurrent illness in the setting of medication discontinuation. While we have considerable information regarding the teratogenicity of various mood stabilizers, we have much less [...]

August 5th, 2019|

Register Online MGH Conference on Women’s Mental Health – October 17, 2019

We are excited to announce that we will be offering a new one day course in Women’s Mental Health in Boston on Thursday, October 17th.  This is the day preceding the Annual Psychopharmacology Conference (October 18-20, 2019). This course will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in women across the reproductive lifespan. Specialized knowledge is necessary to tailor treatments to reproductive events such as pregnancy and pregnancy planning, [...]

July 31st, 2019|

Perinatal Anxiety: Common But Not Frequently Recognized or Treated

According to a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in five pregnant women experience at least one type of anxiety disorder. While this may be surprising to some, anybody who works with pregnant and postpartum women is well aware that anxiety is very common in this population.   Because anxiety is so common and is often a very normal response to any sort of life transition, one of [...]

July 30th, 2019|

Bioidentical, Compounded Hormones Commonly Used by Perimenopausal Women, But No Consistency

Increasing numbers of peri- and post-menopausal women request “bioidentical” rather than synthetic hormones.  Although there is a tendency to think of bioidentical hormones as “all-natural”, they, like synthetic hormones, are manufactured in the laboratory.  In contrast to synthetic hormones, they are chemically identical to the hormones produced by the human body; synthetic hormones are structurally different yet are designed to have similar biological effects as naturally produced hormones. Rather than using [...]

July 29th, 2019|

Weekly Roundup for JULY 26, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

We have recently seen an increased interest in the subject of perinatal anxiety.  While we have focused more on depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms are actually very common during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  According to a recent meta-analysis from Fawcett and colleagues (see below), about one out of every five women has at least one type of anxiety disorder during pregnancy or the postpartum period.  Thus, several professional organizations are now [...]

July 28th, 2019|

Opioid Exposure During Pregnancy, Long-Term Effects on Children’s Development

According to a recent analysis of national data by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder (as documented at the time of delivery) more than quadrupled from 1999 through 2014.  Studies of opioid exposure in pregnancy suggest increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, low birth weight, preterm delivery, higher rates of maternal mortality, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and birth defects (including neural tube [...]

July 22nd, 2019|