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.

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Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


The impact of comorbid premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder on the clinical characteristics of bipolar disorder among Han Chinese women

Compared with BD without PMS or PMDD, BD with PMS or PMDD might be a specific subtype of BD characterized with earlier onset age, heavier genetic load, increased symptom severity, and atypical features.

Etiologic Studies of Premenstrual Disorders Require Prospective Confirmation of Affective Cyclicity


Psychosocial wellbeing shortly after allocation to a freeze-all strategy compared with a fresh transfer strategy in women and men: a sub-study of a randomized controlled trial

Individuals in the freeze-all group exhibited slightly higher levels of depressive symptoms and mood swings compared to those in the fresh transfer group. Nevertheless, it is important to note that any worries related to potential emotional strains stemming from delaying embryo transfer should not overshadow the adoption of a freeze-all approach in cases where it is clinically recommended. As long as patients are provided with comprehensive information about the treatment strategy before initiating the process, it is worth emphasizing that other aspects of psychosocial wellbeing were comparable between the two groups.


Improving front-line clinician capacity to address depression and bipolar disorder among perinatal individuals: a longitudinal analysis of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms

The Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms is designed to increase clinicians’ willingness to address PMDs.

Maternal Perinatal Stress Associated With Offspring Negative Emotionality, But the Underlying Mechanisms Remain Elusive



Prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant exposure, SLC6A4 genetic variations, and cortisol activity in 6-year-old children of depressed mothers: A cohort study

In school age children, prenatal SRI exposure and a genetic factor associated with modulating 5HT signaling determined HPA reactivity to a laboratory stress challenge in exposed children.

Exploring the prevalence of antidepressant medication discontinuation among pregnant veterans

Pregnant veterans or PGVets had a high MH burden, as indicated by multiple comorbid diagnoses of unipolar depression, anxiety, and PTSD in 67% of the sample. At the onset of pregnancy, 163 (46%) were treated with an antidepressant. Only 56 (34%) continued using antidepressants through the pregnancy. Self-discontinuation (34%) and VA provider discontinuation (31%) of antidepressants were found. Among PGVets with documented past suicidal behaviors, 90% discontinued their active antidepressants. PGVets with indicators for more severe MH diagnoses were most likely to discontinue.


Postpartum psychosis: A proposed treatment algorithm

Early detection and prompt treatment with antipsychotics and lithium, followed by maintenance treatment with lithium, is associated with a favorable prognosis in PPP.

The Association between Immediate Postpartum Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Use and Postpartum Depressive Symptoms

Use of postpartum depot medroxyprogesterone (DMPA) is not associated with a positive postpartum PHQ-9 screen. Concerns about precipitating postpartum depression should not preclude the utilization of DMPA as a contraceptive agent.

Identification of women at high risk of postpartum psychiatric episodes: A population-based study quantifying relative and absolute risks following exposure to selected risk factors and genetic liability

For young mothers with a personal and family history of psychiatric disorders, the absolute risk of PPE was 21.6% (95% CI 15.9%-27.8%). Adding information on high genetic liability to depression, the risk increased to 29.2% (95% CI 21.3%-38.4%) for PPE.

Meta-Analyses of Genome-Wide Association Studies for Postpartum Depression

While more samples are needed to reach genome-wide levels of significance, the results presented confirm PPD as a polygenic and heritable phenotype. There is also evidence that despite a high correlation with MDD, PPD may have unique genetic components.

Establishing the validity of a diagnostic questionnaire for childbirth-related posttraumatic stress disorder

This study demonstrates the validity of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, as a screening tool for posttraumatic stress disorder among women who had a traumatic childbirth experience.

Screening fathers for postpartum depression in a maternal-child health clinic: a program evaluation in a midwest urban academic medical center

Participation was high in a PPD screening pilot for fathers in a primary care setting. This small sample of fathers demonstrated significant peripartum mental health challenges unlikely to have been identified otherwise.

The long-term course and prognosis of postpartum depression: a retrospective longitudinal cohort study

Throughout the 5 years subsequent to the index PPD episode, 42.5% of the PPD group compared with only 3.7% for the non-PPD group developed a new episode of depression (p < 0.001). Reported psychopathology was higher and functional level was significantly worse in the PPD group at the time of reassessment.


No articles this week


Psychiatric medication use among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who used cannabis for mental health concerns: A cross-sectional survey study

Most mothers who used cannabis for mental health concerns were not taking psychiatric medications. This may be due to a mismatch between perceived mental health and screening results, un- or under-treated mental illness, or preference for cannabis over psychiatric medications.

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently released a special issue of the Maternal and Child Health Journal: Public Health Approaches to Perinatal Substance Use. Learn more HERE.


Associations between mothers’ and fathers’ depression and anxiety prior to birth and infant temperament trajectories over the first year of life: Evidence from diagnoses and symptom severity

Mothers’ depression and anxiety primarily predicted initial levels of temperament at 3 months. Controlling for mothers’ symptoms, fathers’ depression and anxiety largely related to temperament trajectories across infancy. Lifetime diagnoses and symptom severities were associated with distinct patterns.


No articles this week


No articles this week

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