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Pregnancy and PD

About 400 women under the age of 50 are diagnosed with PD in the US each year. The amount of women who become pregnant after their diagnosis is not known. This does not diminish the importance of this topic. Women and pregnancy are two very under researched topics within the PD community. Let’s review what the most current literature tells us. 


As to date, there is no research supporting the notion that Parkinson’s disease leads to fertility issues in women. One recent article showed that women with PD have a lower rate of cesarean section and miscarriages compared to the average American woman. However, more research will have to be completed to support these findings and to make a definitive statement around fertility.

Symptom changes 

Research around Parkinson's motor symptom changes is limited and conflicting. Some studies show a worsening of Parkinson’s symptom changes during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Other studies have shown no changes or even some improvements during pregnancy. Like most things related to PD, it is different from person to person. 

Pregnancy can lead to constipation, dizziness, urinary frequency changes, fatigue, sleep changes, mood changes, and muscle cramping in people without PD. These nonmotor symptoms are common in those with PD, so if you are currently experiencing these symptoms, they may worsen during pregnancy. If you are experiencing moderate to severe Parkinson's motor and nonmotor symptoms, talk with your neurologist and OBGYN prior to conceiving.

Medication and Pregnancy 

There are currently no studies around Parkinson’s medication and pregnancy. There are no recommendations around the safety of medication use when pregnant. There are some studies around levodopa that showed no increase in rate of miscarriage, birth complications, or birth defects with levodopa. There is evidence that does not support the use of amantadine during pregnancy due to higher incidence of birth deficits and increased risk of miscarriage.

Levodopa and dopamine agonists have been shown to suppress lactation. Medications taken by the mom will be excreted in breast milk and the side effects on the baby are not known.

Preg Spark

Preg Spark is an international registry for women with PD who are pregnant. If you or someone you know are pregnant, please help push our knowledge in this space by participating in their registry. The data collected will contribute to the creation of new guidelines and help to answer important questions.

Are you diagnosed with PD and thinking about having a baby? Talk with your neurologist and OBGYN about your options and what is best for you




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