Caring for Women with Seizures


Woman with seizures being inspected by a physicianWhile all seizure patients need individualized attention for their medical condition, women face unique challenges and have specific needs and questions.

The Women’s Health and Epilepsy Clinic utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach that includes epileptologists (neurologists who are seizure specialists), nurse specialists, obstetricians/gynecologists (including maternal-fetal medicine doctors who specialize in high-risk pregnancies), neurogenetic specialists, and endocrinologists. Among the topics we address are: changes in epilepsy control throughout the menstrual cycle, effective birth control methods for patients with seizures, planning a healthy pregnancy, genetic counseling, anti-seizure medication use, menopause and bone health.

Some women notice a pattern in which their seizures tend to happen at certain times during their menstrual cycle, a phenomenon known as catamenial epilepsy. At times, hormone treatments can be used for these women, usually in addition to standard anti-seizure medications. With regard to pregnancy, most women with epilepsy can and do have normal healthy babies, but folic acid supplementation is important, some medications have particular risks, and special care may need to be taken to check blood levels of certain medications frequently.

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