Sometimes It's Hard Being a Woman
Dr. Jyoti Sachdeva
Photo submitted by UC Health
Pregnancy, postpartum, motherhood, menopause and all the accompanying issues that can affect a woman’s reproductive life cycle can be stressful and overwhelming. Thankfully, the Women’s Center at UC Health West Chester Hospital offers timely and compassionate behavioral and psychiatry services – particularly for reproductive health – meaning help is but a referral-by-an-OB/GYN away.
Dr. Jyoti Sachdeva, MD, adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at University of Cincinnati, partners with the obstetricians at the Women’s Center, seeing patients three days a week. She assists them in developing treatment plans – such as managing current medications or offering therapy alternatives – from the family planning and prenatal care stages through post-partum.
“We talk to our patients, gather information, and based on their individual situations, we decide if the medications they are already taking are safe, or if other types of therapy are indicated,” Dr. Sachdeva says. “In many cases, patients can continue their medications safely.”
A woman can experience depression and anxiety for the first time in her life during pregnancy or after her child is born, possibly during nursing, and that has a significant effect on both mother and baby as well as the rest of the family.
“Society believes pregnancy is always a time of joy and happiness, and it should be,” Dr. Sachdeva says. “But about 15 percent of pregnant women struggle with anxiety and depression. Everyone around them is saying, ‘You should be delighted,’ but maybe they aren’t. Women often struggle, hiding depression symptoms.”
The time after a baby is born can be even more challenging, Sachdeva adds.
“You’re suddenly responsible for a newborn baby who is completely dependent on you, plus your hormones are changing, and that can lead to postpartum depression. A first, important step is to accept that depression and anxiety are possible during pregnancy and after, and that it is OK to ask for help.”
Other taxing reproductive scenarios for women include fertility treatment and pregnancy loss, the doctor says. Help for women going through arduous life reproductive cycles has been a long time in coming.
“Menopause is another area that is growing rapidly. Like pregnancy, it is associated with hormone changes, and can involve depression and anxiety problems, especially for women who were experiencing such problems prior to menopause.”
Issues evolving from menopause aren’t just biological, Dr. Sachdeva says. It’s the time in a woman’s life when kids are leaving for college, and other health changes and psychological challenges occur, sometimes stirring intense emotions.
UC Women’s Health Center at West Chester Hospital empowers women by ensuring each patient has a primary care physician that is her champion, partner and go-to resource; access to comprehensive services for key women’s issues; access to a network of the best specialists; and unique programs that address a woman’s specific needs.
UC Health Women’s Center at West Chester Hospital is located at 7675 Wellness Way, Fourth Floor, West Chester, OH 45069. For more information, call 513.475.8588 or visit www.uchealth.com/women.