The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in ISI Thomson Master Journal List

Acta Endocrinologica(Bucharest) is live in PubMed Central

July - September 2019, Volume 15, Issue 3
Actualities in medicine

Trifu S, Vladuti A, Popescu A

Neuroendocrine Aspects of Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression

Acta Endo (Buc) 2019, 15 (3): 410-415
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2019.410

Introduction. Ties between the endocrine system and mental health are undeniably a consistent point of interest in modern day medicine. Furthermore, mental disturbances due to hormonal changes following childbirth have been mentioned in medical literature since Hippocrates. Considering the dramatic endocrine, paracrine and autocrine changes that occur during gestation, labour and postnatal phase, hormonal theories are not to be ignored in the treatment of postpartum disorders. Results. Reproductive hormones are known to modulate behavioural, emotional and cognitive response, therefore rapid changes in estradiol and progesterone plasma concentrations during pregnancy and labour create a vulnerable terrain leading towards postpartum disorders. New research shows that women suffering from postpartum disorders have abnormal neural responses, suggesting a neuroendocrine explanation for postpartum syndromes. Conclusion. To facilitate further research in this area, we present new information on several hormonal interactions and the psychiatric response involved in pregnancy and labour, offering an interdisciplinary outlook on pregnancy and postpartum disorders. There is enough evidence to suggest that estradiol, progesterone, oxytocin, cortisol and thyroid hormones are some of many hormones involved in postpartum syndromes and tackling their perinatal imbalance with pharmacological substituents or antagonists could be useful as an adjuvant form of treatment in future patients.

Keywords: pregnancy, labour, postpartum, estradiol, progesterone, depression

Correspondence: Simona Trifu MD, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Dept. of Neurosciences, 37 Dionisie Lupu Str., Bucharest 020021, Romania, E-mail: