Below is information that has been re-printed from WebMD ( on bipolar disorder and women.  If you are concerned that you, or someone that you know, may have a problem with bipolar disorder, please call the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities at (404) 613-3675.  Our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  If you need assistance after those hours, please call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.


Women and Bipolar 

According to WebMD, research shows that women tend to experience more periods of depression than men.  In bipolar disorder, women are more likely to develop the type bipolar II - meaning they never develop severe mania, but instead have milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with depression.

Women also are at higher risk for rapid cycling, which means having four or more mood episodes in one year.  Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck - together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants - may contribute to rapid cycling.


Pregnant Woman

According to WebMD, mood stabilizing drugs for bipolar disorder have been linked with reproductive problems in women - specifically polycystic ovary syndrome - a problem related to female hormones.  This condition puts women at risk for infertility, diabetes, and possibly heart disease and cancer of the uterus.  However, the condition is treatable with medication.

Women who have bipolar disorder and plan to become pregnant should talk with their psychiatrist about their plans.  They should never stop taking their bipolar disorder drugs before talking with their doctor.


According to WebMD, the hormone fluctuations of perimenopause and menopause can cause mood disorders in any woman - not just those with bipolar disorder.  However, for those already having troubles with major depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders, there usually is an increase in symptoms during this time.  Especially during perimenopause, women may be especially vulnerable to depressive symptoms because of declining estrogen levels.

During menopause, hormone therapy may help.  A change in antidepressant or mood stabilizing drug also may be the answer.  With either individual or group therapy, women can gain support and insight into life transitions that may be adding greater stress to their lives, making their depression worse. 



If you have questions about bipolar disorder, or wish to make an appointment for yourself or a loved one, please contact our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line at (404) 613-3675.   A clinician from the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and can assist you.  After hours, please call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.