Migraine associated with early onset postpartum depression in women with major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder and migraine are both more common among women than men with women’s reproductive years being associated with increased susceptibility to both conditions. We have recently had a paper accepted in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health reporting the findings of a study examining associations between migraine and clinical features of depression in women. Specifically, we focused on relationships with lifetime reproductive events such as childbirth and premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Comparing two groups of women with depression, with (n=98) and without (n=124) migraine, we found lifetime presence of migraine was specifically associated with postpartum depression occurring within six weeks of childbirth.

Our findings suggest that women with depression and comorbid migraine may be particularly sensitive to hormonal changes early in the postpartum period following childbirth. This may have implications for individualising risk and treatment and may also be useful for future biological and genetic studies.