April 7 marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, and kicks off a year-long campaign to increase global awareness and discussions about depression – an indiscriminate illness affecting 300 million people globally. This year, for World Health Day, we ask men and women to join CONRAD in support of all who suffer from depression, and help to raise awareness for women’s health related depression.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in ten women ages 18-44 experience symptoms of severe depression. New mothers are at even greater risk – postpartum depression affects approximately one in nine women who give birth. Many women around the world are not currently able to access adequate family planning methods – and CONRAD hopes to help change that by expanding options through its research and development programs. Non-hormonal barrier methods, such as the new Caya® diaphragm developed by PATH and CONRAD, is one of those options. “We are committed to the idea that every woman has the right to plan her pregnancies and protect her health – physical and mental,” says Gustavo Doncel, MD, PhD, Scientific and Executive Director at CONRAD and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Women may also suffer from depression as an unintended side-effect of hormonal contraception which is why expanded options are needed. A recent study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that use of hormonal birth control, especially among adolescents, was linked to subsequent depression. “We know that for many women around the world, expanded options to prevent unplanned pregnancies are desperately needed as depression can sometimes be a side effect of current methods. We urge anyone experiencing symptoms to seek help because it is treatable,” states Dr. Jill Schwartz, Medical Director at CONRAD.
Through continuing efforts in developing alternatives to current contraceptive methods, CONRAD joins many other organizations in taking part of the global effort to create a future where women are empowered to keep themselves and their families healthy – physically and mentally.
Join us and start your own discussion today!
Learn more about how CONRAD is making a difference in women’s health at www.conrad.org.