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


Estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder – PubMed

These results suggest an association between progesterone and the exacerbation of PMDD symptoms during the LL phase. Women with PMDD have relatively high cortisol levels during the LL phase.

Baby blues, premenstrual syndrome and postpartum affective disorders: intersection of risk factors and reciprocal influences – PubMed

A correlation was found between the severity of baby blues and PMS , with both conditions increasing the possibility of adjustment disorder and PPD (baby blues: OR = 6.72; PMS: OR = 3.29).


Alcohol and cannabis use among women with infertility: associations with psychiatric symptoms, attempts to conceive, and engagement in fertility treatment – PubMed

Those pursuing fertility treatments had a lower percentage engaging in hazardous alcohol use compared to those not pursuing fertility treatments (19.0% vs. 36.3%, p = .02). Substance use among women with infertility is common. Hazardous cannabis use was associated with greater psychiatric symptoms, suggesting that cannabis may be used to cope with distress.

Effectiveness of double ABCX-based psychotherapy for psychological distress among women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer: a three-arm randomized controlled trial – PubMed

A 6-session intervention was delivered at each visit to the IVF clinic. effectively mitigated psychological distress, suggesting greater effectiveness for couples undergoing IVF couples than for women only.


Experience of discrimination reported during pregnancy and infant’s emerging effortful control – PubMed

Discrimination reported by the mother during pregnancy is associated with poorer offspring emotional outcomes.

Primiparas’ prenatal depressive symptoms, anxiety, and salivary oxytocin level predict early postnatal maternal-infant bonding: a Japanese longitudinal study – PubMed

Prenatal depressive symptoms, anxiety, and lower salivary oxytocin levels were predicted to worsen maternal-infant bonding at 2-5 days postpartum.

Comparison of the EPDS and PHQ-9 in the assessment of depression among pregnant women: Similarities and differences – PubMed

Psychological symptoms may be more important in assessing depression using the EPDS, while physical symptoms may be more influential in assessing depression using the PHQ-9.

The impact of fetal surgical procedures on perinatal anxiety and depression – PubMed

Of 85 patients, 23 (27.1%) without a history of anxiety or depression had new identification of one or both after delivery. Among patients with baseline anxiety or depression, 20 of 34 patients (58.8%) experienced an exacerbation after delivery.

Maternal Prenatal Depressive Symptoms and Fetal Growth During the Critical Rapid Growth Stage – PubMed

In this prospective cohort study, maternal depressive symptoms were associated with slower fetal growth rate.

Prenatal mood and anxiety disorders and associated cytokine changes – PubMed

Pregnant women with SCID Axis I diagnoses of mood and/or anxiety disorders had greater fluctuations in IL6 across prenatal and postpartum periods and lower IL10 through pregnancy and postpartum.

Perinatal Digital Mental Health Interventions: Further analysis of risk factors for high loss-to-follow-up rates – PubMed


No articles this week


Effects of ketamine and esketamine on preventing postpartum depression after cesarean delivery: A meta-analysis – PubMed

Ketamine and esketamine appear to be effective in preventing PPD at one week and four weeks postpartum after cesarean delivery with moderate certainty of evidence.

Efficacy and safety of celecoxib for treatment of mild to moderate postpartum depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial – PubMed

Celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory agent, in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), appeared to be effective for the treatment of postpartum depression.

Carrying an unintended pregnancy to term and long-term maternal psychological distress: Findings from the Dutch prospective Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study – PubMed

Pregnancy mistiming and unhappiness were significant predictors of more maternal psychological distress around 3 months postpartum. Around 5 years postpartum, only pregnancy mistiming was positively associated with maternal psychological distress.

Postpartum Depression-New Screening Recommendations and Treatments – PubMed

Barriers to care and treatment experiences among individuals with postpartum psychosis – PubMed

139 participants provided 146 episode-specific survey responses. Lack of available services was cited as the greatest barrier to care for PP. Among those who sought treatment, obstetric providers (34.5%) and emergency medical professionals (29.4%) were the most common initial points of contact. 82.2% of the respondents went to an emergency room or crisis center during their episode(s). Most (61.8%) reported being given insufficient information to manage their PP.

Just a few counselling sessions can hold postpartum depression at bay – Nature

Maternal mood, anxiety and mental health functioning after combined myo-inositol, probiotics, micronutrient supplementation from preconception: Findings from the NiPPeR RCT – PubMed

The NiPPeR double-blind randomized trial in women planning conception investigated whether a myo-inositol, probiotics and enriched micronutrients formulation (intervention) taken preconception and throughout pregnancy could improve mental wellbeing during pregnancy and post-delivery, compared with a standard micronutrient supplement (control). The micronutrients had no effect on mood and anxiety, but there was evidence of a modest improvement in mental health functioning from preconception to 6-months post-delivery.

Prevalence and risk factors analysis of postpartum depression at early stage using hybrid deep learning model – PubMed

This deep learning model was able to differentiate among women at risk of PPDD vs. non-PPDD. In addition, the feature importance analysis demonstrates that specific risk factors substantially impact the prediction of PPDD.

The relationship between postpartum negative life events and postpartum depression: a moderated mediation model of neuroticism and psychological flexibility – PubMed

Psychological flexibility plays an important role in buffering the negative effects of postpartum negative life events and neuroticism on risk for PPD.


No articles this week


Prenatal nicotine exposure during pregnancy results in adverse neurodevelopmental alterations and neurobehavioral deficits – PubMed



Maternal social support during and after pregnancy and child cognitive ability: examining timing effects in two cohorts – PubMed
Data from two prospective longitudinal studies suggest a distinct role of maternal perceived social support during pregnancy for cognitive development in children. Our study suggests that interventions aimed at increasing maternal social support during pregnancy may be an important strategy for promoting maternal and child well-being.


Associations of adverse childhood and lifetime experiences with sleep quality and duration among women in midlife – PubMed

ACEs were common in midlife women: 301 women (63%) reported one or more. Each additional ACE was associated with higher midlife sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment.

Hormone therapy shows promise in alleviating menopause-linked depression

Mode of birth and long-term maternal mental health: A follow-up study in the Danish National Birth Cohort – PubMed

Whether due to the birth experience or underlying factors, depression and stress in midlife were more frequent in women with only cesarean births or whose last birth was by cesarean compared with women with vaginal births.


No articles this week

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