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Psychedelic Medicine

Association

Psychedelics and Women’s Health with Allison Feduccia, PhD

Summary

In this episode of the psychedelic medicine podcast, Allison Feduccia, PhD joins to discuss the intersection of psychedelic medicine and women’s health. Dr. Feduccia is a neuropharmacologist, psychedelic researcher, and builder of virtual and in-person communities. She is cofounder of two prominent organizations, psychedelic.support and Project New Day, and is additionally a scientific advisor for Eastra. Alli has been researching psychedelics since 2004 when she first began studying MDMA and has subsequently been involved in the field through work at numerous universities, the NIH, and MAPS. In this work she seeks to spread evidence-based knowledge, connection to resources, and strategies for individuals to maximize potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics through safe and responsible practices.

In this conversation, Alli responds to questions touching on all areas of women’s health and the impact psychedelics could have specifically for female patients. A major theme of the discussion is the interplay between psychedelics and hormones. While this is a topic with little in the way of scientific research, Alli shares some interesting ideas about how the neuromodulation of psychedelics could interact with endocrine systems, and how serotonin receptors within the uterus could explain certain anecdotal reports of various effects of psychedelics on menstrual pains or irregularities.

In a similar vein, Alli discusses some of the physiological effects of psychedelics, particularly in relation to blood flow, and how these non-experiential features of these compounds could actually be helpful properties for women with certain conditions. This insight leads to interesting avenues for future drug development and also stresses the importance of studying psychedelics at different doses so that the positive health effects can be isolated.

Alli also talks about the potential for psychedelic healing in the context of postpartum depression, sharing an evocative family story which illustrates simply how crucial and overlooked this issue has been in healthcare. The advances in mental healthcare coming out of psychedelic research provide a promising path forward for such conditions, however.

In This Episode

• How psychedelics could help with premenstrual discomfort
• Concerns about taking psychedelic substances while pregnant
• Psychedelics and postpartum depression
• How psychedelics could impact hypoactive sexual desire disorder
• Psychedelics interactions with menopause
• Potential role for hormones alongside set and setting for impacting the psychedelic experience

Quotes

“It may be that psychedelics could really affect women’s moods as they go through these different life stages, and help them feel better.” [4:45]

“Maybe this concept of neurotransmitter modulation with our sex hormones may be a target for drug development work as well.” [23:42]

“This is also pertinent to transgender women who may be using hormones. This type of modulation on mood or physiological symptoms—this could be really applicable too for helping to really have the body adjust and be more balanced to changes in hormonal fluctuations in the body.” [26:59]

Links

* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.