The Center for Women’s Mental Health at the Massachusetts General Hospital has both a Clinical and a Research Program. The combination of research with clinical practice keeps our psychiatrists up-to-date and involved in the most current developments within the field, ensuring that our Center provides the highest quality care.
Clinical consultation is available to women throughout the reproductive life cycle and patients can obtain an evaluation and be treated by clinicians with particular expertise in their area. Our Clinical Program provides services for:
Women with psychiatric disorders who are pregnant or who wish to conceive
Women with postpartum psychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression and anxiety
Women who may benefit from the use of medication and wish to breastfeed
Women with premenstrual depression and/or anxiety
Menopausal women and women beginning to experience early perimenopausal symptoms, including depression
Psychiatric Disorders During Pregnancy
The Pregnancy Consultation Service offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for women with psychiatric disorders who are pregnant and for those who wish to conceive. Women frequently wrestle with decisions regarding potential use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy, given the concerns about known and unknown risks of fetal drug exposure versus fears of becoming ill if they discontinue medicines which have been helpful. Information is provided regarding risks of psychotropic drug use during pregnancy versus risks of untreated psychiatric disorder during pregnancy. Our clinical service is complemented by various ongoing studies in our research program that investigates the course and treatment of mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders during pregnancy.
Postpartum Psychiatric Disorders
Patients with postpartum psychiatric disorders including postpartum depression and anxiety disorders receive evaluation and treatment by clinicians with particular expertise in this area. Pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments are offered as well as referrals to support services in the community specifically designed for postpartum women. Free evaluation and treatment for postpartum depression are offered to patients eligible for studies conducted within our research program.
Breastfeeding and the Use of Psychiatric Medications
Postpartum depression is frequently seen in women after childbirth. However, the illness is frequently untreated because of the desire to breastfeed and concerns about exposing the infant to psychiatric medication. Clinical consultation is offered to women who may benefit from the use of medication and who wish to breastfeed, taking into account all available information regarding the safety of this practice during lactation. The clinical service is complemented by our research program in which the safety of using psychiatric medications while breastfeeding is studied.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Our clinical program offers pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies to women with both premenstrual depression and/or anxiety. Free evaluation and treatment for PMS/PMDD is offered to patients eligible for studies in our research program.
Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Menopause
Menopausal women and women beginning to experience early “perimenopausal symptoms” frequently suffer from depressive symptoms. The extent to which this is a direct function of hormonal changes associated with the menopause, emerging depression, or a side effect of hormonal therapy is clarified by experienced clinicians in consultation with gynecologists. Free evaluation and treatment for menopause-associated depression is offered to patients eligible for studies conducted within our research program.
For further information please contact: Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital at (617) 724-8020.
For an appointment please contact: Massachusetts General Clinical Program (617) 724-7792 (Intake).
THE ACUTE PSYCHIATRY SERVICE, or APS, is a Boston Emergency Services Team (B.E.S.T.) site providing emergency evaluations for acutely ill or in crises patients. Patients may arrive as “walk-in” or voluntary patients and be seen in the clinic that operates out of the APS from 10:00am-9:00pm on weeknights, and 9:00am-5:30pm on weekends. Telephone support: 617-726-2994.