Our clinic provides state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment of psychiatric disorders associated with the specific nature of female hormonal function through the life cycle.
Clinical care is complemented by research in each of these areas ranging from studies of a spectrum of treatments for women who suffer from PMDD, postpartum depression, and depression in menopause to longitudinal observational studies for women who suffer from mood disorders during pregnancy.
Dr Natalie Krapivensky, our female psychiatrist, completed her PhD in the field of psychoendocrinology and has co-authored publications and book chapters devoted to the matters of women’s mental health.
‘The nature of being a woman makes us vulnerable to the effects of cyclical hormonal variations as well as more specific changes associated with pregnancy, hormonal treatments for fertility, immediate post-partum period in which estrogen levels fall sharply and are associated with potentially serious post partum ( also known as post-natal) depression and psychosis in vulnerable individuals. Breastfeeding causes further severe hormone change by causing very high prolactin levels and low estrogen levels. During this period of life our hormonal environment is akin to being swept away by changing current, and our moods often reflect that because reproductive hormones are powerful neurochemicals and changes in hormones cause changes at neuroreceptor level in the brain.
Later in life we again experience a significant hormonal adaptation marked by cessation of menstrual function – menopause. This time, the change is final. No more estrogen for us girls, unless we choose hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a decision which should be make in consultation with an endocrinologist.
And we have not even touched on what happens if we get breast cancer, or have psychological issues related to fertility, or marriage, or children, combining family and career – all those wonderful aspects of motherhood and being a woman in today’s society.’