Reproductive and Sexual Mental Health

There is a tension in current research on women’s reproductive and sexual mental health concerns between:

  • research that focuses primarily on the biological aspects of reproduction, and
  • research that looks more critically at the social and cultural meanings attached to labels such as premenstrual syndrome, post-partum depression, and the limitations of an exclusively medical management approach to these conditions.

Increasingly, the experiences of marginalized women and the role of culture is beginning to be understood in relation to reproductive health. Our researchers are working to fill knowledge gaps in that area and are looking closely at the role of male partners in women’s support.

Main Objectives

  • Understand the complexity of women’s reproductive and sexual mental health across the lifespan (e.g. premenstrual, peri-natal, and menopausal) through the development, implementation, and evaluation of women-centred, multi-factorial models of care that acknowledge the interaction of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors.
  • Understand the experiences of marginalized women (e.g. ethnoracial minority women, sexual minority women, women of low socio-economic status), and the impact of social exclusion in relation to reproductive and sexual mental health.
  • Contribute to the development of women-centred and culturally responsive policies and protocols to guide the development of programs of prevention, treatment, and models of care informed by a multi-factorial model of reproductive health.