After Stillbirth Women Are at Increased Risk for Depression

In the United States, about one out of every 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth, defined as a pregnancy loss occurring after 20 weeks' gestation.  Perinatal loss is a traumatic event for women and their families.  While we clearly understand the potential for perinatal loss to cause significant emotional consequences, we have relatively little data on the prevalence of anxiety and depressive illness in this population of women. The Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network was established in...

Fertility Treatment More Common in Women with Bulimia Nervosa

Menstrual irregularities, including amenorrhea, are common among women with eating disorders.  Given the menstrual abnormalities, there has been concern that women with eating disorders might be less likely to conceive naturally. A recent study has examined rates of fertility treatment among women with eating disorders. In this study, women were enrolled prenatally as part of Generation R study, a prospective population cohort study based in the Netherlands.  Outcomes were assessed in women who reported a...

Age at Menopause and Lifetime Cognitive Functioning: Findings from a British Cohort Study

Research has suggested a relationship between the age at which a woman goes through menopause and her general cognitive functioning, specifically that better cognitive function is observed in women who enter into menopause at a later age, as compared to an earlier age. A recent study seeks to examine this relationship while adjusting for many of the factors known to be associated with cognitive function, such as early childhood cognitive function, level of education, socioeconomic...

Weekly Roundup for  JULY 7, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

This week, there are two very interesting articles on the importance of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy.  Not only does folic acid reduce the risk of neural tube defects, it may affect other aspects of brain development associated and may reduce the risk of psychosis and possibly other neuropsychiatric disorders in children.  In another study, Kronenfeld looked at developmental outcomes in children exposed to antidepressants in breast milk. Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD Association of Prenatal Exposure...

Lithium Use During Pregnancy: Results From an International Cohort Study

While we use lithium less commonly now than we have in the past, lithium is still one of the very best mood stabilizers we have.  And with regard to its use during pregnancy, we have studies going back nearly 50 years. Although nothing much has been written about the reproductive safety of lithium over the last few decades, two major studies have been published over the last year.   About a year we reported on a...

Valproic Acid: Highlighting Risk and Modifying Prescribing Patterns in Reproductive Age Women

For clinicians who have not yet discovered the incredibly thoughtful and clinically practical monthly articles from Chittaranjan Andrade in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, it’s time to take a look.  (Not only are these articles fantastic, they’re free!!) In the May issue, Dr. Andrade provides a thorough review of the risks associated with valproic  acid use during pregnancy. Summarizing recent data from Weston (2016) and Veroniki (2017), he notes some important findings regarding the use...