Lower allopregnanolone during pregnancy predicts postpartum depression: An exploratory study

Lauren M. Osborne, Fiona Gispen, Abanti Sanyal, Gayane Yenokyan, Samantha Meilman, Jennifer L. Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Current evidence is mixed on the role of progesterone and its metabolites in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We measured second and third trimester (T2 and T3) progesterone (PROG) and allopregnanolone (ALLO) levels by ELISA and postpartum depression (PPD) by clinician interview (DSM-IV criteria) in 60 pregnant women with a prior diagnosis of a mood disorder. Methods included multivariate and logistic regression with general linear mixed effect models. We found that, after adjustment, every additional ng/mL of T2 ALLO resulted in a 63% (95% CI 13% to 84%, p = 0.022) reduction in the risk of developing PPD. Our findings extend previous work connecting ALLO and depression within pregnancy, and indicate that the relationship between pregnancy ALLO and PPD is worth further exploration in a larger sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hormones
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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