Mon. May 20th, 2024
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Endocrine Society published the study's findings.

Up to one in five women who are childbearing suffer from postpartum depression, a significant and prevalent psychiatric condition. Although the exact origin of postpartum depression is unknown, it has been discovered that pregnancy-related hormone changes play a significant role.

According to a recent study, pregnant women who are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are frequently found in plastics, run a higher risk of developing postpartum depression. It is known that dangerous chemicals like bisphenols and phthalates, which are present in plastics and personal care items, alter sex hormones. The study also discovered that these toxic substances might affect pregnancy-related hormonal changes.

“We found that phthalate exposure was associated with lower progesterone levels during pregnancy and a greater likelihood of developing postpartum depression,” said study author Melanie Jacobson, Ph.D., M.P.H. of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

According to Jacobson, phthalates are so pervasive in the environment that they can be found in almost all pregnant women in the United States. Reducing exposure to these substances may be a viable option for preventing postpartum depression if they have the potential to alter prenatal hormone levels and consequently postpartum depression.

The amounts of bisphenols and phthalates in urine samples and sex hormones in blood samples from 139 pregnant women were measured by the researchers. They used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to evaluate these women at four months postpartum and discovered that those who had greater urine phthalate concentrations were more likely to have postpartum depression.

Progesterone, a hormone that is crucial for maintaining the early stages of pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, and mood regulation, was also present in reduced amounts in the women.

Because this is the first study to look at these substances in relation to postpartum depression and because the sample size was limited, Jacobson concluded that these results should be regarded with care.

By Editor

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