Depression is a disorder that affects approximately 30% of the women with ages between 18 and 44 in the United States. If left untreated, depression could lead to mental health issues and heart disease. The majority of the women suffering from depression take antidepressants, but the antidepressants could be dangerous to the pregnant women.
Approximately 15% of the women who are in the reproductive age group are taking antidepressants and this might increase the chances of having babies with birth defects that affect the brain, the heart or other organs. Because the pregnant women who take antidepressants endanger their babies, the health officials recommend that screenings for depression should be done to the pregnant women and to the new moms as well.
One of the main issues is that many women who take antidepressants don’t even realize that they are pregnant in the first weeks, as 50% of the pregnancies in the country are not planned. According to one of the authors of the report, the early stages of pregnancy are very important to the baby so antidepressants could mess with its health.
Between 2008 and 2013, 13.8% of the women with ages between 25 and 29 and 16.7% of the women with ages between 30 and 34 have been prescribed at least one type of antidepressant. The highest rates of depression have been noticed in the women with ages between 40 and 44, of which 20.9% have been prescribed antidepressants. The most common antidepressants prescribed were Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Oleptro.
The researchers recommend that the women that are thinking about having a baby should talk with their doctors before they begin, especially if they are on antidepressants. For these women the doctors can find alternative methods that would not hurt the baby and more counseling could be done.
More concerns have been raised lately, as studies have shown that the increased cases of babies born with birth defects could have been caused by the increased number of depressive future mothers, who take antidepressants. Also, it has been noticed that the women who take antidepressants usually take other drugs as well, like anticonvulsant agents that can lead to birth defects in babies.
Antidepressants could be dangerous to the pregnant women so if you are thinking about getting pregnant you should contact your doctor and see what is the best solution for you. The report was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, on Thursday.
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