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Influence of Sex Hormones on OCD 

Influence of Sex Hormones on OCD
Influence of Sex Hormones on OCD

Valeria Guglielmi

, Judith Souget

, Wouter van Elzelingen

, Ingo Willuhn

, and Nienke Vulink

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date: 26 June 2022

OCD symptoms often seem to correlate with hormonal changes. For example, onset during puberty or in the postpartum period is common, and some female patients report monthly fluctuations in their symptoms. This chapter reviews available evidence about the interaction between the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and the neuropeptide oxytocin, and the initiation, amelioration, or exacerbation of OCD symptoms. Human studies as well as animal studies are reviewed. Furthermore, suggestions for clinical practice are provided, including: patient education, screening and treatment of perinatal OCD, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacotherapy. The chapter concludes with suggestions on future research into the onset and exacerbation of OCD in women relative to reproductive cycle events.

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