Psychopharmacology

, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 108–110

Effect of oestradiol on postpartum depression

  • A. Ahokas
  • Jutta Kaukoranta
  • Marjatta Aito
Rapid Communication

Abstract 

Rationale: The months following childbirth are a time when women are susceptible to depressive disorders, which may be severe and have long-lasting serious adverse consequences. The illnesses remain often unrecognized and untreated, and can be resistant to conventional psychiatric treatment methods. Objective: We report two patients with postpartum depression, who had low serum oestradiol together with psychiatric symptoms, and who responded successfully to treatment with oestradiol. Methods: The serum oestradiol concentration was measured at baseline and weekly during treatment with sublingual 17-β oestradiol for 8 weeks. The treatment effect was evaluated using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale. Results: Both patients had a low pretreatment oestradiol concentration (36–120 and 31 pmol/l). During treatment with oestradiol, the decline of depressive symptoms coincided with a rise in serum oestradiol. Conclusions: Oestradiol may be causally related to postpartum depression and have significance in the treatment of this condition.

Key words Postpartum Depression Oestrogen Oestradiol measurement 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ahokas
    • 1
  • Jutta Kaukoranta
    • 1
  • Marjatta Aito
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki City Hospital, Välskärinkatu 12, FIN-00260 Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: antti.ahokas@soster.hel.fi, Fax: +358-9-31063775FI
  2. 2.Adnex Research Clinic of Gynaecology, FIN-00100 Helsinki, FinlandFI

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