ADHD in Women: Puberty, PMS, Pregnancy to Peri-Menopause

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Sara Binder

Date and time: 23 Mar 2018 from 08:00 to 09:00

Location: Wildrose Salon A/B  Floor Map


Women experience a number of hormonal fluctuations throughout their lifespan. During puberty, PMS, pregnancy, post-partum and menopause, significant changes occur in hormonal levels of estrogen, progesterone and prolactin. These hormones are known to influence levels of key neurotransmitters that are necessary for neuro-cognition, executive functioning, mood regulation and impulse control. Girls and women with ADHD struggle to regulate cognition, affect and impulsivity due to inconsistent levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. During hormonal fluctuations occurring during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post-partum and peri-menopause, ADHD symptoms may become more impairing due to the down-regulation of dopamine and norepinephrine by ovarian hormones. This results in further functional impairment. When we consider the impact on learning, relationships, academic, occupational and psychosocial functioning throughout a woman’s lifespan it is imperative that we better understand and manage ADHD in women.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss How ADHD Presents in Women and Common Comorbidities
  2. Review the literature on Hormones and ADHD through the lifespan
  3. Consider Treatment Strategies During Pregnancy and Post-Partum

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