Every week we review the most recent publications in women’s mental health, covering topics related to premenstrual symptoms, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, use of medications in pregnant and breastfeeding women, perinatal substance use, and menopausal mental health. 

For more detailed descriptions of many of these topics, you can sign up to receive our weekly CWMH NEWSLETTER which comes out every Thursday.  

And don’t forget to visit ESSENTIAL READS – a curated selection of up-to-date and clinically relevant articles in women’s mental health.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


Neuroimaging the menstrual cycle: A multimodal systematic review.

Dubol M, Epperson CN, Sacher J, Pletzer B, Derntl B, Lanzenberger R, Sundström-Poromaa I, Comasco E.  Front Neuroendocrinol. 2021 Jan;60:100878. Free article.

Brain reactivity during aggressive response in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder treated with a selective progesterone receptor modulator.

Kaltsouni E, Fisher PM, Dubol M, Hustad S, Lanzenberger R, Frokjaer VG, Wikström J, Comasco E, Sundström-Poromaa I.  Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Apr 29. 

Women with PMDD randomized to selective progesterone receptor modulator or SPRM treatment had enhanced brain reactivity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during the aggressive response condition. 



Stress and Anxiety Levels in Couples who Undergo Fertility Treatment: a Review of Systematic Reviews.

Paraskevi L, Antigoni S, Kleanthi G. Mater Sociomed. 2021 Mar;33(1):60-64. Free article. 



Prevalence of Depression or Anxiety During Antepartum Hospitalizations for Obstetric Complications. 

Toscano M, et al. Obstet Gynecol, May 2021; 137: 881-891

One in three women hospitalized during pregnancy for obstetric complications report clinical levels of depression or anxiety symptoms.

Maternal psychological stress during pregnancy and risk of congenital heart disease in offspring: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Gu J, Guan HB.  J Affect Disord. 2021 May 8;291:32-38.

Maternal stress and stressful life events during pregnancy may be associated with higher risk of CHD in offspring, but such association was not observed for other mental health exposures such as anxiety and depression. 

Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Sleep, and Odds of Spontaneous Early Birth: Implications for Racial Inequities in Birth Outcomes.

Christian LM, Webber S, Gillespie S, Strahm AM, Schaffir J, Gokun Y, Porter K.  Sleep. 2021 May 21:zsab133. 

Additive effects of poor subjective sleep quality and depressive symptoms were observed with markedly higher odds of spontaneous shortened gestation among women with both risk factors.

Increased Depression Screening and Treatment Recommendations After Implementation of a Perinatal Collaborative Care Program.

Miller ES, Grobman WA, Ciolino JD, Zumpf K, Sakowicz A, Gollan J, Wisner KL.  Psychiatr Serv. 2021 May 21:

Implementation of a perinatal collaborative care program was associated with improvements in perinatal depression screening and recommendations for treatment by obstetric clinicians.

Is vagal-nerve stimulation safe during pregnancy? A mini review.

Ding J, Wang L, Wang C, Gao C, Wang F, Sun T.  Epilepsy Res. 2021 May 14;174:106671. 

VNS may be relatively safe and effective for the fetus and mother during pregnancy, and turning off VNS during pregnancy is unnecessary.

Eating disorders are associated with adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes: a systematic review.

das Neves MC, Teixeira AA, Garcia FM, Rennó J, da Silva AG, Cantilino A, Rosa CE, Mendes-Ribeiro JA, Rocha R, Lobo H, Gomes IE, Ribeiro CC, Garcia FD. Braz J Psychiatry. 2021 May 17: Free article.



 Duloxetine Exposure During Pregnancy and the Risk of Spontaneous and Elective Abortion: A Danish Nationwide Observational Study.

Ankarfeldt MZ, Petersen J, Andersen JT, Fernandes MFS, Li H, Motsko SP, Fast T, Jimenez-Solem E.  Drugs Real World Outcomes. 2021 May 18. 

There was no increased risk of spontaneous or elective abortion associated with exposure to duloxetine. 



A new molecular risk pathway for postpartum mood disorders: clues from steroid sulfatase-deficient individuals.

Thippeswamy H, Davies W.  Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Jun;24(3):391-401. 

Divorce or Separation Following Postpartum Psychiatric Episodes: A Population-Based Cohort Study.

Johannsen BMW, Mægbæk ML, Bech BH, Laursen TM, Munk-Olsen T.  J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 23;82(3):

Women experiencing their first-ever postpartum psychiatric episode (PPE) following childbirth have a higher probability of divorce in the years following their diagnosis than mothers without PPE. Further, this study showed a dose-response relationship between the severity of PPE and the probability of divorce.

Brexanolone in Postpartum Depression: Post Hoc Analyses to Help Inform Clinical Decision-Making.

Gerbasi ME, Meltzer-Brody S, Acaster S, Fridman M, Bonthapally V, Hodgkins P, Kanes SJ, Eldar-Lissai A.

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Mar;30(3):385-392. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8483. Epub 2020 Nov 12.  Free article.



No articles this week



Evidence for the Effectiveness and Acceptability of e-SBI or e-SBIRT in the Management of Alcohol and Illicit Substance Use in Pregnant and Post-partum Women.

Wouldes TA, Crawford A, Stevens S, Stasiak K.  Front Psychiatry. 2021 May 5;12:634805. Free article. 



Mother-infant interaction in women with depression in pregnancy and in women with a history of depression: the Psychiatry Research and Motherhood – Depression (PRAM-D) study.

Bind RH, Biaggi A, Bairead A, Du Preez A, Hazelgrove K, Waites F, Conroy S, Dazzan P, Osborne S, Pawlby S, Sethna V, Pariante CM.  BJPsych Open. 2021 May 25;7(3):e100.   Free article.

Both antenatal depression and a lifetime history of depression are associated with a decreased quality of mother-infant interaction, irrespective of postnatal depression. 



No articles this week



Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Affective Symptoms, and Neuroactive Steroids: a Focus on Allopregnanolone.

Standeven LR, Olson E, Leistikow N, Payne JL, Osborne LM, Hantsoo L.  Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2021 Apr 21;23(6):36.   Free article. 

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