Last Tuesday, Melinda Gates launched her viral campaign, Equality Can’t Wait, in the hopes of shortening the timeline to gender parity in the United States.
With endorsements from celebrities and politicians alike, her new campaign is based on the latest Global Gender Gap Report which predicted that at our current rate, Americans will take 208 years to achieve gender equality.
Women’s health and survival rates comprise one of four categories used to assess gender-based disparity.
The current state of women’s health in the U.S. is life-threatening:
Addressing barriers to maternal mental healthcare access is essential to an equitable future. Stigma, poor awareness, and teratogenic psychiatric medications make mental health treatment decisions for pregnant and breastfeeding women complex. Growing evidence suggests this complexity leads to treatment avoidance.
However, increased patient and provider education about nonpharmacologic treatment options for depression during pregnancy and breast-feeding may help reduce barriers to maternal mental healthcare access and utilization.
In addition to standard mood disorder medications and therapies, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an effective, non-systemic and non-invasive treatment option for depression. Although rTMS is not FDA indicated for use during pregnancy, current evidence of rTMS for depression during pregnancy is encouraging.
rTMS, applied during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, does not appear to cause any adverse birth outcomes. In sham controlled TMS studies conducted during pregnancy, no differences in cognitive or motor development between infants in active and control groups have been reported.
Gender equality can start with a conversation, and this tool can help. rTMS is a promising treatment option for perinatal mood disorders and could significantly improve access and utilization of essential maternal mental health services during an important time for women and their families.
From left to right: Abby Withee, LMFT, Christina Kalzadilla, LMFT, Dr. Martha Koo, M.D., Bryana Kappa, LMFT, Vi Ballard, LMFT, Evy Jacobson, AMFT, Marina Braff, LMFT, and Emily Pedersen, MPH, M.S.Ed
From left to right: Marina Braff, LMFT, Jenny Moon, LCSW, Dr. Jillian Pexa, PsyD, Dr. Nazanin Moali, PhD, and Kathleen Ballue, Clinical Outreach for Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program
When : August 22-23, 2019
Where : Barcelona, Spain
What : Martha Koo, M.D. is a plenary speaker and will be giving a presentation on transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of addiction.