Epilepsy in Women: Pregnancy Information | Cleveland Clinic
Subscribe to eTOC. Journal logo. Managing Epilepsy in Women Elizabeth E. Gerard, MD; Kimford J. Article as PDF. Article Tools. Article as EPUB. Print This Article. Add to My Favorites. Export to Citation Manager.
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Share on Twitter. Share on LinkedIn. Article Level Metrics. Your Name: optional. The American Epilepsy Society offers a wide range of clinical, educational, and scientific resources designed to support epilepsy professionals in the care and understanding of the unique considerations for women with epilepsy.
Epilepsy in Women
You'll find more AES resources for clinical care and self-management here. As of , the following studies are actively working to better understand how the health and care of women with epilepsy influence their health and that of their children. The Kimford J. Other ways of birth control may work well in certain cases. Do not wait until it is too late to discuss birth control with your doctor.
Some epilepsy drugs deplete the body of important vitamins. All women who have epilepsy and who are of child-bearing age should take a multi-vitamin that has folic acid daily. Women with seizures can have healthy children if they get good prenatal care. It is important that women who have epilepsy talk with their doctors before getting pregnant. Many women with epilepsy take several drugs in high doses that may lead to needless drug exposure to unborn babies.
In some cases, drugs may be reduced before pregnancy, especially if seizures are well controlled.
Hormones and Epilepsy
If pregnancy is unplanned, women should not stop their seizure drugs unless first talking with their doctors. This often leads to more frequent seizures, which can also harm the baby.
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The rate of seizures usually does not change much during pregnancy. However, some women have more seizures, while others have fewer. Women who have epilepsy should have their drug blood levels checked often. This caution is taken because blood levels slowly fall during pregnancy and reach their lowest level around the time of delivery.
This may result in breakthrough seizures. All seizures that happen during pregnancy should be told to your doctor.