Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 475–479 | Cite as

Recurrence of bipolar disorder during pregnancy: a systematic review

  • Misbah Salim
  • Verinder Sharma
  • Kelly K. Anderson
Short Communication


We conducted a systematic review of the literature to determine the prevalence of mood episode recurrences during pregnancy among women with bipolar disorder. Included studies (n = 11) had wide variation in the reported proportions of pregnant women with bipolar disorder who experienced a recurrence (median = 24%, range = 4–73%). There is some evidence that pregnant women are more likely to have a depressive or mixed episode, rather than hypomanic or manic. The extant literature cannot answer the question of how pregnancy affects the course of bipolar disorder; it merely informs us of the effect of medication discontinuation during pregnancy.


Bipolar disorder Pregnancy Recurrence Systematic review 



The authors thank Dr. Monali Malvankar, PhD, and John Costella, MLIS, from Western University, for assistance in developing the search strategy and we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Riaz Qureshi from Western University, MSc, for the help with screening of citations in the literature review.

Funding information

Kelly Anderson is supported by a New Investigator Fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. The protocol was registered and can be accessed online on Prospero (CRD42015029456).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Misbah Salim
    • 1
  • Verinder Sharma
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kelly K. Anderson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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