While we have now a fair amount of information regarding the course of major depression and bipolar disorder during pregnancy and the postpartum period, we have much less information on the course obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). [...]
Sexual side effects may occur in 40% to 70% of patients treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and is a common reason for poor compliance with treatment and eventual discontinuation. When sexual side effects occur, they tend to emerge early, are persistent, and rarely resolve spontaneously. A new study, reviewed in Medscape, suggests that exercise may help to reduce sexual side effects:
For women the postpartum period is a time of increased vulnerability to mood disorders. Recent estimates indicate that about 20% of women will suffer from significant depressive symptoms during the year after the birth of a child. Despite a significant push over the last decade to identify and effectively treat women with mood disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period, treatment rates in this population remain unacceptably low. Furthermore, questions still remain regarding the optimal timing of screening and the best instruments to be used in this setting.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was designed to screen women for postnatal depression. Cox and Holden (2003) state that the EPDS was not designed to measure anxiety. However, recent emphasis on the importance of recognizing symptoms of perinatal anxiety disorders, coupled with findings in research, have led to the suggestion that the EPDS may be used as a multidimensional tool to screen for anxiety disorders in addition to depression during the perinatal period (Matthey et al, 2012).
A significant number of women experience anxiety symptoms during pregnancy, with about 8.5% of women meeting criteria for generalized anxiety disorder. Other anxiety disorders are less common. The estimated prevalence of panic disorder during pregnancy is 1-2%. The estimated prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder is 0.2-1.2%. While we use certain tools, including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to screen for depression during pregnancy, what are the best tools for indentifying women with clinically significant anxiety symptoms?
Most women have some nausea or vomiting, or "morning sickness", during the first trimester of pregnancy. Some women, however, have a more severe and persistent pattern of nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). A new study demonstrates, not so surprisingly, that depression is more common in women suffering from HG.
While most agree that there is a need for improved detection of anxiety and mood disorders in pregnant and postpartum women, there remain questions regarding the best instruments to use for screening. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (a questionnaire consisting of 10 items) has long been used to screen women for postpartum depression (PPD); however, it is unclear how well these questions could be incorporated into larger surveillance programs, such as the CDC-sponsored Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) which was designed to assess health behaviors and to screen for health problems, including depression and anxiety, in pregnant and postpartum women.
About 10-30% of children have functional somatic symptoms (FSS). These are physical complaints, such as headaches, pain, fatigue, and dizziness, that cannot be explained medically. A new study suggests that when a child is exposed to depression or anxiety in the mother during the first year of life, he or she is more likely to report these somatic symptoms later on.
New Research from the CWMH: Surgically Induced Menopause No Worse than Natural in Terms of Risk for Depression, Anxiety
Each year about 600,000 women in the United States undergo a hysterectomy. Somewhere between 55% and 80% of these women who also have their ovaries removed along with the uterus—a procedure known as oophorectomy. After the removal of the ovaries, menopause follows immediately and is associated with a constellation of symptoms including hot flashes and insomnia, as well as depression and anxiety.