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Reproductive mental health programme

Based in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience at Cardiff University, we are a new research programme working with centres such as the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, and the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH).

Our mission is to better understand how reproductive events such as pregnancy, the menstrual cycle and reproductive ageing impact mental health. In particular, our research program is currently focusing on why some people develop severe mental illness in relation to reproductive events and some don’t.

Some of the questions we seek to answer:

  • What genetic factors increase someone’s risk of experiencing these illnesses?
  • What parts of your early development can make an impact?
  • What environmental circumstances make symptoms worse?

Our research is made possible thanks to a European Research Council (ERC) grant from the Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020. Dr Arianna di Florio, our programme’s lead researcher, was awarded €1.5m to conduct the first molecular genetic study of psychiatric sensitivity to sex hormone changes.

Reproductive mental health

Reproductive mental illness affects roughly 5-15% of women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) at some time in their lives.

This programme comes at a pivotal time when these conditions and issues are receiving more attention, and the experiences of more women and AFAB people are being taken seriously.

We believe in bringing together world-leading experts and individuals with lived experience to tackle these difficult questions.

Take part

There are several studies being run by our research group. Follow the links below to learn more and visit the NCMH Noticeboard to see what other research is available to take part in.

Read more


Meet the team

Professor Arianna di Florio, project lead
Jessica Yang, Research Assistant
Chloe Apsey, Psychology Assistant
Danielle Kitney, Psychology Assistant

Images by Gemma Chua-Tan and Omar Lopez


National Centre for Mental Health, Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

+44 (0)29 2068 8401
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