Wednesday December 19, 2018

Studies reveal that Depression might lower the chances of motherhood

Depression has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which may influence the menstrual cycle and affect the ability to conceive.

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There is 38 percent decrease in the average probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle among women who reported severe depressive symptoms compared to the women who had no or low symptoms, finds out a recent study. It also revealed that the results were similar, regardless of whether the women were on psychotropic medications.

Despite associations in prior studies between infertility and the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilisers among already infertile women, “current use of psychotropic medications did not appear to harm the probability of conception,” said lead author Yael Nillni, an assistant professor at Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine in the US.

“Our findings suggest that moderate to severe depressive symptoms, regardless of current psychotropic medication treatment, may delay conception,” Nillni said. The findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Although the study does not answer why women with more depressive symptoms may take longer to become pregnant, the authors noted several potential mechanisms.

Depression has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which might influence the menstrual cycle and affect the ability to conceive.

Study collected data from around 2,100 female pregnancy planners, ages 21-45 years, enrolled in a study known as PRESTO (Pregnancy Study Online) is looking at the factors influencing fertility.

All women who participated were asked to report their current depressive symptoms and psychotropic medication use, among many other factors.(IANS)

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Midwives Want To Reduce Maternal Mortality In South Sudan

South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

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Midwives, SUDAN
A woman holding her baby in a nursery watches another newborn who is attached to a ventilator at Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, April 3, 2013. South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. VOA

More than 60 people graduated in Juba this week with diplomas in midwifery and nursing. Their goal? To reduce South Sudan’s high rate of maternal mortality.

Eight men were among the 66 graduates of the Kajo Keji Health Science Institute — an unusual occurrence in South Sudan, where midwifery is associated almost exclusively with women.

Samuel Ladu Morish, 26, says he felt he could no longer sit by and watch young women die because of childbirth.

chikungunya, maternal mortality
A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

“A lot of mothers are dying so [for] me particularly it pains me. That is why I felt I have to do that course, to try my level best to stop maternal mortality rate in South Sudan,” Morish told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Twenty-one-year-old Leju Henry, another male graduate, said he’s been asked many times why he decided to pursue a course in midwifery. Like Morish, Henry said he wants to help South Sudanese women, especially those who suffer complications in child labor.

“Most people think midwifery is a job for females only, but that is not the truth. … the definition of midwifery [is] that a midwife simply means someone who assists in child above all, but not necessarily means a fellow woman,” Henry said.

According to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2017, South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world — 789 women per 100,000 live births.

south sudan's war, chikungunya, maternal mortality
In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, the winner of Miss World South Sudan 2017, Arual Longar, poses for a portrait at a shelter for street children in Juba, South Sudan. VOA

The rate has actually fallen in recent years, a trend that Makur Koriom, the undersecretary of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, attributes to increased training of midwives and nurses.

Also Read: Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

He says South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

“We believe that’s important, because to address the current health challenges, investing in human resource is very important. But, of course, investment at [the] secondary level without concurrent development at the community level also will not yield [good results], because most of the issues happen at the community level,” Koriom told VOA. (VOA)