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Tag Archives | women’s health

Maternal Depression Leads to Risky Behaviors in Adolescent Children

Maternal depression has been identified as a risk factor for adolescent depression.  In addition, maternal depression appears to increase the risk of certain behavioral problems in children; however, it appears that the timing of exposure may play an important role in mediating the effects of maternal depression.  A recent study suggests that childhood exposure to maternal depression between the ages of 4 and 14 may result in risky behaviors later on during adolescence.

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Happy New Year: Let’s Start By Taking a Look Back to 2014

2014 was a huge year in the field of Reproductive Psychiatry.  Never before have we seen so many articles published in this specialty.  Much attention has focused on the reproductive safety of psychotropic medication; however, we have seen an increased interest in the mental health of women and a greater appreciation of how psychiatric illness in the mother may affect the entire family, including her unborn child and family.

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Progesterone for Hot Flashes

Following the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative report in 2002, there was a dramatic drop in the use of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) due to concerns about increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke.  Since that time, various non-hormonal alternatives have been utilized for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, including gabapentin and various serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

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Novel Approaches to Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Side Effects: Exercise and Acupuncture

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:

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Remote Enrollment Initiated in MGH Study Assessing Mood Symptoms Across Infertility Treatment

We are pleased to announce the recent launch of an exciting new research initiative that is being conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health.  The Symptom Tracking in Assisted Reproductive Technologies study (START study) will focus on understanding the risk factors for depressive relapse in women undergoing infertility treatments.  There has been a growing request in our clinical work to address the needs of women undergoing infertility treatments.  It is our hope that such a study will provide important information on the course and risk of depression in women undergoing fertility treatment and thus inform clinical care.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Perinatal Depression: Maybe or Maybe Not

The omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), have a broad range of health benefits and may be beneficial for the treatment of mood disorders.  Because during pregnancy omega-3 fatty acids are diverted to the developing fetus, some women may develop a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy.  Previous studies have shown that pregnant women with lower levels of DHA may be more vulnerable to depressive symptoms.  Several small studies have attempted to use omega-3 fatty acids to treat perinatal depression but have yielded inconsistent findings.  

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Weight Loss and a Low-Fat Diet Help to Reduce Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women

Various studies have shown that women with a higher body mass index (BMI) or a higher percent of body fat have more frequent or more severe menopausal symptoms.  In a recent study, researchers evaluated the impact of a low-fat diet on vasomotor symptoms in a group of 17,473 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79.

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Antidepressants and Risk for Osteoporosis

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) account for approximately 62% of all antidepressants prescribed in the United States. There have been several recent studies suggesting that SSRIs may lower bone mineral density in individuals over the age of 65. However, depression itself has been shown to decrease bone mineral density and has also been associated with an increased risk of hip fractures in older women.

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