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Testosterone May Be Responsible For Depression In White Women Going Through Menopause

October 14 , 2013
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Press Release

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FERTILITY SOCIETIES 21st WORLD CONGRESS ON FERTILITY AND STERILITY AND THE 69th ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE

Boston, MA  – Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, presenting their findings at the International Federation of Fertility Societies/American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in Boston revealed that there is a significant association between depressive symptoms and high testosterone levels in women as they go through the menopausal transition. The finding however, was only found in Caucasian women, not in African American women.

It has been well known that depressive symptoms can increase during menopause. In this study more than 400 women were enrolled in a longitudinal study, with evaluations occurring annually for 14 years. Depression was assessed using common mental health instruments and blood was drawn to measure testosterone levels. Statistical measures were deployed to control for the impact of age, race, BMI, menopausal stage and history of depression.

The team found that depression levels increased as testosterone increased regardless of menopausal stage. However, this relationship held only for Caucasian women, not for African American women.

“Menopause is a complex and not yet fully understood event in women’s lives. It is vitally important that research, such as this, be pursued to improve understanding of the menopausal transition and to be better able to assist our patients through this unique time of their lives,” said  Linda C. Giudice MD, PhD, President of ASRM.

O-34 Higher Serum Testosterone Levels Correlate with Increased Risk of Depressive Symptoms in Caucasian Women Through the Entire Menopausal Transition
LW Milman et al
 

 

Representing more than 50 fertility societies from around the globe, the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) is the world’s principal international fertility organization. The IFFS was founded in 1951, and held its first congress in New York in 1953. The IFFS mission is to stimulate basic and clinical research, disseminate education and encourage superior clinical care of patients in infertility and reproductive medicine. Website: http://www.iffs-reproduction.org/ 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 7,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology.  Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society of Reproductive Surgeons and the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists.


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