Women and Reproductive-Related Trauma
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Women are at higher risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than men, leading to significant psychosocial burden and healthcare-related costs. Research has shown an association between the negative impact of traumatic experiences and the reproductive life cycle in women. Pregnant women with a history of abuse/trauma frequently report intrusive reemergence of symptoms. Women who experience miscarriage may present with even higher prevalence rates of PTSD symptoms. Both psychologic and physiologic factors are believed to be relevant to the development of peripartum posttraumatic stress symptoms. Much less is known, however, about treatment. A case series of patients who presented with PTSD symptoms in the context of reproductive-related traumatic events (e.g., miscarriage, stillbirth) or who experienced reemergence of symptoms during pregnancy is presented, including treatment strategies.
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