The recent surge in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) era women Veterans, most of whom are younger compared to other women Veterans, presenting with mental health issues is expected to pose new clinical challenges. Treatment of mental health conditions in women Veterans is not considered comprehensive without adequate examination of the impact of reproductive events across the life span, such as their menstrual cycle, pregnancy and postpartum period, and menopausal transition. The overarching aim of this article is to discuss emerging clinical issues in managing common psychiatric conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression during pregnancy and postpartum period in the VA healthcare system and secondly, to identify steps to advance the knowledge and understanding of these complex issues. Information to be gained in this area has immediate clinical application in the overall management of major psychiatric conditions in women Veterans during pregnancy and postpartum, and implications for policy-making decisions.
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