Background: In some but not all women, periods of hormonal change may be associated with diversified physical, mental and cognitive symptoms that may be severe enough to warrant treatment. These reproductive-life periods include pregnancy, post-partum, the premenstrual and perimenopausal periods.
Conclusions: Disorders during these periods are quite prevalent and may be grouped together as Reproductive Related Disorders (RRDs). They are characterized by their timing, epidemiologic associations and shared vulnerabilities, but not necessarily by their descriptive phenomenology that often times is diversified among women but consistent within each individual woman. The pathophysiology of RRDs is suggested to be maladaptation of vulnerable women to normal hormonal changes. As such, RRDs provide for an interdisciplinary diagnostic model of mostly-affective disorders that differ from the current descriptive-based entities.
Clinical relevance: Treatment options may be aimed at the trigger-the hormonal changes or instability; or may be symptomatic-in cases of depression or anxiety they are mostly SSRIs.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.