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


Suicidality in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder-A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Yan H, Ding Y, Guo W.  J Affect Disord. 2021 Aug 31;295: 339-346. 

In a meta-analysis of six studies with 8532 participants, researchers observed that having a diagnosis of PMDD was associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR]=2.34). Patients with PMDD had a greater risk of attempting suicide (OR=2.13) and an increased risk of suicidal plan (OR=2.24).



Progression of depression and anxiety symptoms in pregnancies conceived by assisted reproductive technology in the United States.

Simoni MK, Gilstad-Hayden K, Naqvi SH, Pal L, Yonkers KA.  J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2021 Sep 2:1-10.

1,466 women with spontaneous, planned pregnancies were compared to 191 women with pregnancies conceived via ART.  The prevalence of depressive symptoms symptoms.  Change in prevalence of depressive symptoms over time differed between the two groups (from T1 to T3).  The course of anxiety did not differ between conception groups.



Eating disorders, pregnancy and the postnatal period: a review of the recent literature.

Bye A, Martini MG, Micali N.  Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 30. Review.



Neonatal outcome and adaption after in-utero exposure to antidepressants: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Kautzky A, Slamanig R, Unger A, Höflich A.  Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2021 Sep 6.

A comprehensive literature search was conducted, revealing a total number of 33 relevant studies and 69 individual outcomes among 3025 screened studies. Seventeen outcomes allowed meta-analytic evaluation.  We will review this study next week.


Association of Prenatal Exposure to Valproate and Other Antiepileptic Drugs With Intellectual Disability and Delayed Childhood Milestones.

Daugaard CA, Pedersen L, Sun Y, Dreier JW, Christensen J.  JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Nov 2;3(11):e2025570. Free article.

Compared with offspring not exposed to valproate prenatally, offspring of women who used valproate during pregnancy had an increased risk of intellectual disability (aHR, 4.48) and intellectual disability with delayed childhood milestones (aHR, 6.07). Among mothers with epilepsy, offspring exposed prenatally to valproate had increased.  Compared with offspring without prenatal exposure to AEDs, increased risk of intellectual disability was identified in children with prenatal exposure to maternal monotherapy use of carbamazepine (aHR, 3.84), clonazepam (aHR, 2.41), and oxcarbazepine (aHR, 3.70) but not lamotrigine (aHR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.71-2.48).


Reproductive Safety of Second-Generation Antipsychotics: Updated Data From the Massachusetts General Hospital National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics.

Viguera AC, Freeman MP, Góez-Mogollón L, Sosinsky AZ, McElheny SA, Church TR, Young AV, Caplin PS, Chitayat D, Hernández-Díaz S, Cohen LS.  J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 3;82(4):20m13745. Free article.


Antiseizure medication use during pregnancy and risk of ASD and ADHD in children.

Wiggs KK, Rickert ME, Sujan AC, Quinn PD, Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, Oberg AS, D’Onofrio BM.  Neurology. 2020 Dec 15;95(24):e3232-e3240. Free article.

Use of valproic acid was associated with ASD (hazard ratio [HR] 2.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53-3.47) and ADHD (HR 1.74, 95% CI 1.28-2.38).


The use of antipsychotic agents during pregnancy and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Wang Z, Wong ICK, Man KKC, Alfageh BH, Mongkhon P, Brauer R.  Psychol Med. 2021 Apr;51(6):1028-1037.

Six studies were included in the meta-analysis with a pooled adjusted relative risk of 1.24 overall [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-1.42]. 



Postpartum Depression and Psychosis and Subsequent Severe Mental Illnesses in Mothers and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children: A Nationwide Study.

Chen MH, Pan TL, Bai YM, Huang KL, Tsai SJ, Su TP, Chen TJ, Hsu JW.  J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 27;82(4):20m13735. 

Both postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis were found to be related to increased risks of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depressive disorder in mothers, with hazard ratios (HRs) ranging between 8.80 (95% CI, 7.95-9.74) and 63.96 (95% CI, 50.39-81.18). Children exposed to maternal postpartum depression and psychosis were more likely to develop ADHD. Only postpartum depression was related to the likelihood of offspring ASD.


Similarities and differences between postpartum depression and depression at other stages of female life: a systematic review.

Johann A, Ehlert U.  J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2021 Sep 1:1-9. d

Somatic symptoms in the puerperium contribute to psychopathological burden and might result in diverse clinical representations of postpartum depression. Anxiety frequently co-occurs with depression during the perinatal peRIOD.


Prenatal insomnia and childbirth-related PTSD symptoms: A prospective population-based cohort study.

Deforges C, Noël Y, Eberhard-Gran M, Garthus-Niegel S, Horsch A.  J Affect Disord. 2021 Aug 24;295:305-315. 

This prospective population-based cohort study (n = 1,610) examined the relationship between insomnia symptoms at 32 weeks of pregnancy and childbirth-related PTSD (CB-PTSD) symptoms at eight weeks postpartum.  The relationship between prenatal insomnia and CB-PTSD symptoms was mediated by negative birth experiences and postnatal insomnia symptoms. All relationships involving insomnia symptoms had small or very small effect sizes.



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No articles this week



Perinatal maternal depressive symptoms and risk of behavioral problems at five years.

Yamada M, Tanaka K, Arakawa M, Miyake Y.  Pediatr Res. 2021 Aug 31.

Compared with children whose mothers did not experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy, those whose mothers had depressive symptoms during pregnancy had increased risk of emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, and low prosocial behavior. Maternal depressive symptoms at around 4 months postpartum were associated with increased risk of childhood emotional problems. Compared with children whose mothers did not experience depressive symptoms during the perinatal period, those whose mothers did experience depressive symptoms both during pregnancy and postpartum had a fivefold increased risk of childhood emotional symptoms and a threefold increased risk of peer problems.



No articles this week



No articles this week


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