Epilepsy is a condition that affects the nervous system and can cause debilitating seizures. Various biological and social differences cause women to experience epilepsy differently than men. As a result, women with epilepsy face different challenges throughout life—for instance, when they try to conceive.
Epilepsy affects almost one million American women of childbearing age; nearly 90 percent of them will be able to deliver healthy babies. If you are a woman with epileptic seizures who is trying to conceive, consult a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy to discuss whether seizures would be under control during pregnancy.
Medications are integral to controlling epileptic seizures. Except valproate, most medications have a fairly low risk related to birth defects. If a woman takes an epilepsy medication, a neurologist will recommend the lowest effective dose to take during pregnancy. All women of childbearing age—whether they have epilepsy or not—should take calcium, vitamin D and folic acid supplements.
The more women with epilepsy learn how to control seizures while trying to conceive, the better the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
The Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological care for yourself or your family.