The Link Between Depression and Reproductive Health: Yes, they’re connected

By Cassandra Hedrick

 

Recently, doctors have been looking into the connection between reproductive health and depression in women. Depression is a severe sadness that comes with lack of motivation and can cause suicidal thoughts. According to Dr. Mendel, who conducted a study on this topic, “Psychological symptoms continue to shift in relation to reproductive events—for example, the menstrual cycle, childbirth, menopause— across women’s lives.”

 

This study found that girls are at higher risk of depression during puberty due to the drastic change in hormones. Similarly, women show some symptoms of depression during PMS. The same goes for women during pregnancy. 14-23% of pregnant women develop depression, however, it tends to go undiagnosed because it is assumed to be a just a hormonal imbalance. This can be dangerous for both the mother and child. Postpartum depression, meaning depression after giving birth, is also very common. It has not been previously talked about, but women are trying to bring more attention to it.

As a woman, you may be at higher risk for depression. Throughout your life, with the changes your reproductive system, you may experience depression due to hormonal changes. These changes happen through puberty, pregnancy, and after pregnancy. If you think you may be experiencing depression, talk to your doctor and get help.