Have you ever heard of "Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology"?
I hadn't either.
But a recently published study, followed by a little more research into the subject, lead me to this interesting area of medicine!
The study published in the British Medical Journal looked a the connection between: "bilateral oophorectomy" (removal of both ovaries) and trauma or adverse experiences (either in child- or adulthood).
Research found abuse, neglect, and violence all significantly increased the risk factor for this surgery before menopause.
The reason women may get an oophorectomy, or ovarian removal, can be for conditions such as:
Early removal of a vital female organ such as the ovaries does not come without risk. The ovaries are in charge of producing estrogen and progesterone. When removed before menopause, where production of these hormones would naturally decline, you lose the protective and beneficial effects of these hormones.
This means that women who have this procedure are more at risk for:
This study highlights an important connection in female health and gynecology issues with mental health and psychological stress.
Other studies have looked at these connections too!
They show the importance of treating both the women's health concern and any associated psychological stress or dysfunction.
While some of these may just be associations, rather than a clear cause and effect, we know the mind-body connection is powerful beyond belief. There are likely several ways that our thoughts, experiences, and behaviours can impact our gynecological health (and visa versa).
Here are a few other connections that have been found:
If you have menstrual, breast, ovarian, or other gynecological concerns, it worth looking at how your mental health has been impacted by these concerns, and how it may even be worsening or contributing to your physical health issues.
Simple tips to improve the gynecological and psychological connection:
Yours in health,
Dr. Ashley Nelson
If you're looking for a more holistic look into your health, or are curious to learn more about these connections, book a free consult with Dr. Nelson below!
Did you know that up to 85% of women experience some form of disturbed mood following pregnancy?
If left untreated, unaddressed, or unrecognized, this can lead to Post-Partum Depression which puts both the mom and baby at risk of negative long term effects, both behavioural and developmental.
While it is difficult to accurately predict who is most at risk, there are 3 main areas to consider:
Healthy Hormone Balance:
Since a history of PMS is associated with post-partum, getting hormone balance in check prior to pregnancy could help with prevention. Estrogen dominance, which is often involved in PMS and other hormonal concerns, is a state where estrogen is higher relative to progesterone. This does not always mean that there is too much estrogen however, it could be more of a lack of progesterone from anovulatory cycles for example [lack of ovulation] which could occur for several reasons. [Treat the cause!]
Our experience of stress causes the release of cortisol. Since the creation of cortisol, which is a hormone much like estrogen or progesterone, requires the same building blocks as our other hormones, it can actually lead to decreased production of progesterone. Our body would rather use it's resources to deal with stress rather than focus on conception!
Because both personal and family history of mood concerns can increase the risk of post-partum, it is important to reflect on this prior to pregnancy. There can be many factors involved in mood disturbances such as inflammation, hormone imbalance, poor blood sugar regulation. Depending on which triggers are involved, different supplements and dietary approaches can be used to create a more stable mood. For example:
While prevention is ideal, many of these strategies are still useful and can be applied for women experiencing post-partum depression!
As always, before making any dietary or supplement changes, it is important to consult with your Naturopathic Doctor or Family Doctor.
Yours in health,
Dr. Ashley Nelson, ND
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