Reproductive psychiatry is the intersection between reproductive health and psychiatry. It is one of the lesser-known and practiced specialties of psychiatry. However, “50% of the population will experience something that fits into the category of reproductive psychiatry at some point in their lives,” according to our Reproductive Psychiatry Program Director, Dr. Bamgbose. In this post, let’s talk about why this psychiatric specialty is important and help to make it more well-known.
What is reproductive psychiatry?
Reproductive Psychiatry is the treatment of mental health disorders during reproductive transition periods, such as infertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and perimenopause for:
- Transgender men
- Nonbinary and genderqueer individuals
- Any person with a uterus, ovaries, vagina, etc.
This form of psychiatry mainly focuses on what comes from various hormone changes. “Hormone changes” can include the menstrual cycle or conditions associated with pregnancy. As hormones make changes to the body, there are mental changes that occur alongside them that can require extra help to monitor.
Why is it important?
Let’s go back to that statistic in the intro of this post: “50% of the population will experience something that fits into the category of reproductive psychiatry at some point in their lives.” That’s a lot of people who could benefit from this psychiatric specialty. Whether people have been assigned female at birth or identify as female, it is common for reproduction-related hormones, conditions, or events to impact one’s mental health.
Reproductive psychiatry mainly focuses on hormone changes because these hormones can exacerbate conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and other mood disorders that already occur. These hormones can also increase the symptoms around times of hormonal changes. Additionally, these hormonal changes can cause these conditions for those who don’t have them already.
To break it down into numbers:
- 8% of people who menstruate experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
- Around 20% of postpartum individuals will develop postpartum depression or anxiety disorders.
- Up to 40% of people experiencing infertility meet the criteria for a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety.
- 5-10% of people who menstruate meet the criteria for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Of them, up to 50% may experience depression and/or anxiety
Ultimately, this form of psychiatry is important because it can help so many people understand and find relief for the mental health conditions they are experiencing.
Reproductive psychiatry at Mindful Health Solutions
We’re very excited to have a reproductive psychiatry program here at Mindful Health Solutions. Overall, the goal of this program is to create a team of collaborative and up-to-date providers who can provide high-level care for patients seeking reproductive services.
Not many OBGYNs are practicing psychiatry for reproduction-related issues, and many psychiatry practices aren’t well-versed in these issues. Having a place people can go to for support is extremely important and can help save patients years of unnamed symptoms without a solution.
Our program helps ensure that patients are receiving every aspect of care. It allows any individual with reproduction-related mental health symptoms to feel safe talking to a professional about the issues they face. That way, we can do what matters most: Help people feel more like themselves again.
Our program is available for any existing or new patient who is experiencing mental health concerns related to pregnancy, postpartum, fertility, menopause, or any other hormonal changes related to reproduction. If you are interested in learning more, connect with us. We want to give you the support you deserve.