Postpartum Depression

Why some women are more likely to feel depressed

It's no secret that the risk of depression increases for women when their hormones are fluctuating. Especially vulnerable times include the menopause transition and onset of postmenopause. There's also postpartum depression ...

Jul 19, 2017
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Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth. Studies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1.2% and 25.5%. Postpartum depression occurs in women after they have carried a child, usually in the first few months, and may last up to several months or even a year. Specifically, the onset of postpartum depression begins within 4 weeks and lasting up to 6 months after giving birth. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counseling.

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, a standardized self-reported questionnaire, may be used to identify women who have postpartum depression.

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