What Do Reproductive Psychiatrists Do for Patients?
Unless you’re well-versed in the world of psychiatry, you may not be aware of the term “reproductive psychiatry.” But that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant to you. Here’s what a reproductive psychiatrist does and how they can benefit you as you go through life’s many changes.
What is Reproductive Psychiatry?
Reproductive psychiatry is a sub-specialty of the general psychiatric field. It focuses on the unique mental needs involved in treating people (mainly women) who experience psychiatric symptoms related to transitions in their reproductive cycle.
These symptoms can arise during pregnancy, the postpartum period, or during the perimenopausal years. It can also occur in people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menstrual cycle-related mood symptoms, and more.
Reproductive psychiatrists are experts in diagnosing and managing these mood and anxiety symptoms that can occur around the menstrual cycle. This specialty involves evaluating the causes of these symptoms, then treating them with an ongoing, flexible treatment plan that adapts as the client’s needs and situations change.
Why Does Reproductive Psychiatry Matter?
Regardless of our sex, assigned gender at birth, or gender identity, our hormones greatly impact our physical and mental health. Psychiatry is still in the process of making strides to expand its understanding of these issues and how the 2 factors play into each other.
What Conditions can a Reproductive Psychiatrist Help With?
Reproductive psychiatrists are trained psychiatrists, which means they can help with a wide variety of issues. But within their specialty, they often help treat issues surrounding:
- Depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy
- Postpartum depression
- Managing psychiatric disorders during pregnancy
- Complicated pregnancies
- Pregnancy loss
- Transitioning to parenthood
- Balancing personal and professional life as a pregnant person and a parent
- Relationship problems related to parenthood and reproduction
While reproductive psychiatry may seem like a narrow topic at first glance, a good reproductive psychiatrist will be able to support you as you navigate a wide range of issues surrounding your reproductive health, life, and goals.
Who Can Benefit From Seeing a Reproductive Psychiatrist?
It’s clear that people who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, struggling with postpartum symptoms, or who have been diagnosed with reproductive system-related mental health concerns (like Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD) might want to consider seeing a reproductive psychiatrist.
But this doesn’t just impact people who have been diagnosed with a mental health concern directly related to their hormones and reproductive cycles. Over 50% of psychiatric patients are women. Over 80% of women will have at least one pregnancy throughout their life, and 50% of pregnancies are unplanned in the United States.
These biological and hormonal changes can greatly impact patients’ psychological and emotional lives. Pregnancy and parenthood are significant parts of life that can potentially be traumatic. A reproductive psychiatrist can offer unique support to pregnant people or parents who are struggling with the realities of their reproductive lives.
If you think seeing a reproductive psychiatrist may be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to one and see if they’re a good fit!