Women with premenstrual syndrome at higher risk of post-pregnancy depression

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Women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or symptoms experienced before their periods, are at a higher risk of developing post-pregnancy depression, according to a new research.

Conversely, it also found that women with pregnancy-related, or perinatal, depression have a higher risk of experiencing premenstrual disorders, that can include mood swings and physical discomfort.

Researchers, led by the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, said the findings suggested that a common mechanism could contribute to the two conditions, and that understanding the link could help with extending targeted support to women most likely to be affected.

Using Swedish nationwide registers from 2001 to 2018, the researchers identified roughly 85,000 women having perinatal depression and about 8,50,000 women unaffected women. Almost 3 per cent of women having pregnancy-linked depression were found to have had premenstrual disorders or PMS before pregnancy, compared to 0.6 per cent of unaffected women. That is, women having PMS were about five times more likely to experience perinatal depression.

“It is important that healthcare professionals who meet with women during pregnancy are aware of the link between premenstrual disorders and perinatal depression in order to provide well-informed advice,” said Donghao Lu, Associate Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and last author of the paper published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

The researchers observed the two-way association between the conditions for both prenatal and postnatal depression, regardless of history of psychiatric disorders.