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  Depression in the Peri-Menopausal Woman

Depression is more common in women than men with the excess beginning at puberty and being no longer apparent five years after the menopause. There remains controversy whether this excess is due to environmental factors or hormonal factors but it is significant that depression occurs at times of hormonal flux such as adolescence, the post-natal period, the pre-menstrual days and the years around the time of the menopause. This climacteric depression is usually at its worst in the two or three years before the periods stop and is also affected by the cyclical depression of severe PMS.

This combination of post-natal depression, PMS and climacteric depression is known as the triad of hormone related mood disorders (HRMD) and often occur in the same vulnerable women. There is good evidence from randomised placebo-controlled trials that this depression is improved using moderately high dose oestrogens transdermally either by patches or hormone implant. This improvement occurs even in women who are not responsive to anti-depressants and in my view should be first-line therapy.

These patients respond well to oestrogens but are often progestogen-intolerant responding badly to the necessary cyclical oral progestogens needed if they still have a uterus. Such patients benefit from the insertion of a progestogen releasing (Mirena) intra-uterine system. Thus long-term therapy may be continuous oestradiol patches plus a Mirena coil producing the mental tonic effect of moderately high dose oestrogens without the bleeding or the cyclical changes that occur with progestogen tablets.


Please click here to view article  Why are physicians reluctant to use estrogens for anything-or do they prefer 'PROFOX'?
   
Please click here to view article Why are estrogens rarely used for the treatment of depression in women?
   
Please click here to view article Severe PMS and Bipolar Disorder-a tragic confusion


Related Articles:

. Panay, N., Studd, JWW., The psychotherapeutic effect of oestrogens. Gynecol Endocrinol (1998) 12, 353-363

. Gregoire, AJP., Henderson, AF., Kumar, R., Everitt, B., Studd, JW. (1996). Transdermal oestrogen for treatment of severe postnatal depression. Lancet 347, 930-33

. Watson, NR., Studd, JWW., Savvas, M., Garnett, T., Baber, RJ. (1989) Treatment of severe pre-menstrual syndrome with oestradiol patches and cyclical oral norethisterone. Lancet ii, 730-34

Hormones and Depression in Women. Why are estrogens rarely used for the treatment of depression in women? Read Article >>

. www.studd.co.uk


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