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Does bipolar disorder have an effect on pregnancies?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Since bipolar disorder usually begins during young adulthood and continues for the rest of a person's life, it often overlaps with women's childbearing years. Much is still unknown about the risks and benefits of bipolar medications in pregnancy, the dangers of not treating the disease, and the risk of relapse. Women should talk to their doctor or mental health provider well before pregnancy--whether they're planning to become pregnant or not--about how to manage bipolar disorder in the event of a pregnancy. Certain bipolar medications are safer than others during pregnancy. Also, research has shown that pregnant women and new mothers have a high risk of relapse and hospitalization for bipolar, and women who stop their medications during pregnancy have an especially high risk.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.