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Archive | General

Chasteberry for PMS and PMDD

  Chasteberry, the fruit of the chaste tree or Vitex agnus castus, has long been touted as a remedy for a range of reproductive problems, including premenstrual symptoms or PMS.  Two recent publications have reviewed data on the use of Vitex agnus castus (VAC) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) […]

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In Brief: Carbs in Your Diet Do Not Increase Your Risk for PMS

  It is recommended that women with premenstrual symptoms (PMS) switch to a diet including more complex carbohydrates and less sugar in order to alleviate their symptoms.  While these dietary modifications may be helpful, a recent study indicates that carbohydrates in the diet is not associated with a woman’s risk of developing PMS symptoms.   In this […]

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Neural Tube Defects and Low Carb Diets During Pregnancy

  Because folate deficiency in pregnant women has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, including anencephaly and spina bifida, it is recommended that all women take folic acid supplements during pregnancy.  In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required (since 1998) the addition of folic acid to many enriched […]

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How Can We Ensure that Women with Perinatal Depression Get Treatment?

  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends screening for perinatal depression, stating that “clinicians screen patients at least once during the perinatal period for depression and anxiety symptoms using a standard, validated tool.” Having the backing of ACOG is certainly a big step in the right direction.  But as we move […]

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Transdermal Estradiol, But Not Oral Estrogens, Improves Sexual Function in Postmenopausal Women

  Sexual dysfunction is common among peri- and postmenopausal women and include a spectrum of problems, including low (or hypoactive) sexual desire, decreased satisfaction, and discomfort.   Reports indicate that the prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire ranges from 9% in naturally postmenopausal women up to 26% in younger surgically postmenopausal women.  A recent study compares the […]

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History of Stillbirth Increases Risk for Depression, Anxiety During Subsequent Pregnancies

  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. A recent study surveyed 609 women who had experienced a stillbirth […]

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In Brief: Marijuana Use Increasing Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women

NPR has published an article on the use of marijuana in expectant and new mothers, interviewing several mothers belonging to a Facebook group called “Pot Smoking Moms Who Cuss Sometimes.” This is an issue we have covered before. We continue to see more and more women of reproductive age using marijuana in various forms.  While […]

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In Brief: Night Sweats? Hot Flashes? Try Yoga

Yoga is frequently recommended as a treatment for menopause-related symptoms, including vasomotor symptoms and sleep disturbance; however, studies regarding its effectiveness have yielded mixed results. In a recent meta-anlsyis, researchers analyzed data from 13 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1306 participants. Compared with no treatment, yoga reduced total menopausal symptoms, and specifically led […]

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Probiotics for Postpartum Depression? Not There Yet

The role of the gut microbiome in mood disorders is an emerging, fascinating field in neuroscience and medicine. Numerous studies have shown that the gut microbiota (colonies of both “good” and “bad” bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract) are important in normal brain function. Furthermore, the status of this bacterial population can activate central nervous […]

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