Women and Parkinson’s: menstruation, medication and motherhood

Women and Parkinson's

Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 26 November 2019

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As part of our #WomenAndParkinsons campaign, episode five of our Parkinson’s Life podcast brings together three campaigners with the condition for a discussion of motherhood, monthly cycles – and how a gender gap in data has affected their diagnosis, treatment and everyday lives


At least three million women worldwide live with Parkinson’s – yet their needs and experiences are often ignored.

To raise awareness of the ongoing impact of a shocking data gap when it comes to women and Parkinson’s, the latest episode of our Parkinson’s Life podcast brings together three women with the condition to explore how they experience it differently to men.  

In a thoughtful and poignant discussion, campaigners Sharon Krischer (US), Omotola Thomas (UK) and Mariette Robijn (the Netherlands), talk about everything from diagnosis and treatment to periods, motherhood and marriage.

The guests acknowledge the unfair misconception of people with Parkinson’s as “old, grey, dusty men”, offer their advice to other women with the condition – and shine a light on how being better informed during diagnosis “would have made a difference” to their personal experience.

From discovering that “everything will be worse during your period” to helping their children answer the question “what’s wrong with your mum?” – they reflect on why “coming to terms with Parkinson’s is really difficult, especially as a woman”.

Listen to the conversation and find out more about the Women and Parkinson’s campaign here.

Episode five of the Parkinson’s Life podcast, “Women and Parkinson’s campaign: a conversation”, is available now on SoundCloud, iTunes and YouTube. Please rate and review the episode to help others find us – and if you have feedback, or ideas for future episodes, do get in touch at editor@parkinsonslife.eu to share your thoughts.

Women and Parkinson’s: Our campaign

It is estimated that three million women worldwide are living with Parkinson’s – yet their specific needs and experiences are often ignored, leading to disparities in diagnosis, treatment and medication. Each week, we’ll be sharing the little-heard stories of women with the condition to find out how their lives are being affected by a shocking data gap when it comes to women and Parkinson’s. This is just the start.

  • We want to raise awareness of women’s experience of the condition within the medical profession, so that women’s symptoms are taken seriously.
  • We think more research is needed into the impact of Parkinson’s on women, so that they can benefit from tailored medication and treatment.
  • We want to explore ways to offer better support for those women managing the condition alongside caring responsibilities.

Join us – #WomenAndParkinsons.

For more information on women and Parkinson’s please visit the EPDA website.

If you have a story to tell about being a woman with Parkinson’s – or some information about the impact of the condition on women for us to share with the global Parkinson’s community – please get in touch.


Read more:

Women and Parkinson’s: “My medication only works three weeks out of four”

Women and Parkinson’s: “Being pregnant was scary”

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