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Women's Behavioral Health

Women's Behavioral Health


Our website provides you straightforward information regarding safe and effective care for women experiencing stress, stress-related illness or sexual difficulties during life events that are unique to women.

You'll find descriptions of our clinical services and research studies as well as down-to-earth summaries of recent research findings and what those findings mean for your care.

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Recent Fact Sheets


Biomarkers for postpartum depression point to estrogen receptor signaling.

Tests for early detection of PPD are essential. We aimed to identify biomarkers for PPD using  gene expression profiles in a high-risk cohort.

METHOD We performed a genome-wide association study in 62 women with psychopathology. Gene expression and hormones were measured in the first and third  trimesters and early postpartum (201 samples). The replication cohort comprised 24 women with third trimester gene expression measures.  Plasma estradiol and estriol were measured..

RESULTS: We identified 116 transcripts differentially expressed between the PPD and euthymic women during the third trimester that allowed prediction of PPD with an accuracy of 88% in both discovery and replication cohorts. Significant enrichment of transcripts implicated that estrogen signaling was observed and such enrichment was also evident when analysing published gene expression data predicting PPD from a non-risk cohort. Women with PPD displayed an increased sensitivity to estrogen signaling, confirming the previously proposed hypothesis of increased sex-steroid sensitivity as a susceptibility factor for PPD.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that PPD can be robustly predicted in currently euthymic women as early as the third trimester and these findings have implications for predictive testing of high-risk women and prevention and treatment for PPD.

Hale's Breastfeeding Safety Ratings: Part 5 - Anxiolytics & Benzodiazepines

In this entry in the series, we summarize Dr. Hale's findings regarding the safety of Anxiolytics & Benzodiazepines during breastfeeding.


Hale's Breastfeeding Safety Ratings: Part 4 - Stimulants

In this entry in the series, we summarize Dr. Hale's findings regarding the safety of Stimulants during breastfeeding.