Epilepsy and pregnancyEEpilepsy and pregnancyEpilepsy and pregnancyEnglishPregnancyAdult (19+)BodyReproductive systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-09-11T04:00:00ZNicolette Caccia, MEd, MD, FRCSCRory Windrim, MB, MSc, FRCSC12.000000000000041.0000000000000419.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>This page describes the effects of epilepsy during pregnancy, and the precautions that a woman with epilepsy should take when she becomes pregnant.</p><p>Epilepsy is a group of neurological conditions characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Pregnancy may complicate epilepsy by making the woman more prone to seizures. Also, some medications used to treat epilepsy may have potential to harm the developing baby. If you are pregnant and you have epilepsy, you need to be aware of the potential complications. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Women with epilepsy have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect, often because of the use of anti-epileptic drugs.</li> <li>Make sure to discuss your condition with your doctor, preferably from before you become pregnant, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.</li> <li>It is recommended that pregnant women with epilepsy be treated with one drug only, at the lowest possible dose.</li> <li>You can breastfeed after birth as most anti-epileptic medications pass into the breast milk at such low doses that they are unlikely to affect the baby.</li></ul>
Épilepsie et grossesseÉÉpilepsie et grossesseEpilepsy and pregnancyFrenchPregnancyAdult (19+)BodyReproductive systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-09-11T04:00:00ZNicolette Caccia, MEd, MD, FRCSC Rory Windrim, MB, MSc, FRCSC12.000000000000041.0000000000000419.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Cette page décrit les effets de l’épilepsie pendant la grossesse, ainsi que les précautions qu’une femme épileptique devrait prendre lorsqu’elle devient enceinte.</p><p>L’épilepsie se caractérise par une série de troubles neurologiques qui se manifestent de manière récurrente, sans motif apparent. Comme elle peut rendre la femme enceinte plus propice aux convulsions, la grossesse complique l’épilepsie. De plus, certains médicaments utilisés pour traiter l’épilepsie sont potentiellement dangereux pour le bébé en développement. Si vous êtes enceinte et souffrez d’épilepsie, vous devez prendre conscience des complications associées à votre situation. </p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Les femmes atteintes d’épilepsie ont une plus grande probabilité d’avoir un bébé présentant des anomalies congénitales, souvent causées par les médicaments antiépileptiques.</li> <li>Discutez de votre maladie avec votre médecin, de préférence avant de devenir enceinte afin d’assurer une grossesse saine.</li> <li>Il est recommandé que les femmes enceintes atteintes d’épilepsie soient traitées avec un seul médicament, à la plus faible dose possible.</li> <li>Vous pouvez allaiter votre bébé à la naissance puisque la plupart des médicaments antiépileptiques passent dans le lait maternel à si faible dose qu’il est peu probable qu’ils affectent le bébé. </li></ul>

 

 

Epilepsy and pregnancy363.000000000000Epilepsy and pregnancyEpilepsy and pregnancyEEnglishPregnancyAdult (19+)BodyReproductive systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-09-11T04:00:00ZNicolette Caccia, MEd, MD, FRCSCRory Windrim, MB, MSc, FRCSC12.000000000000041.0000000000000419.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>This page describes the effects of epilepsy during pregnancy, and the precautions that a woman with epilepsy should take when she becomes pregnant.</p><p>Epilepsy is a group of neurological conditions characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Pregnancy may complicate epilepsy by making the woman more prone to seizures. Also, some medications used to treat epilepsy may have potential to harm the developing baby. If you are pregnant and you have epilepsy, you need to be aware of the potential complications. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Women with epilepsy have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect, often because of the use of anti-epileptic drugs.</li> <li>Make sure to discuss your condition with your doctor, preferably from before you become pregnant, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.</li> <li>It is recommended that pregnant women with epilepsy be treated with one drug only, at the lowest possible dose.</li> <li>You can breastfeed after birth as most anti-epileptic medications pass into the breast milk at such low doses that they are unlikely to affect the baby.</li></ul><h2>Effects of epilepsy in pregnancy</h2> <p>About one-third of women with epilepsy have an increase in the frequency of their seizures in pregnancy, possibly because their anti-epileptic drugs are not absorbed into their bodies as well during that time. Also, some women have trouble with vomiting during pregnancy, and therefore do not take in as much of their anti-epileptic drug as needed. </p> <p>Women with epilepsy have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect. These abnormalities are often caused by the anti-epileptic drugs themselves. Certain drugs increase the risk of: </p> <ul> <li>a deformity of the face called cleft lip </li> <li>a heart condition known as ventricular septal defect </li> <li>abnormalities in the development of the central nervous system, called neural tube defects </li> <li>minor abnormalities of the face and fingers </li></ul> <h2>Precautions to take if you have epilepsy</h2> <p>Despite the risks, with expert medical care, you still have an excellent chance of having a healthy baby. Make sure to discuss your condition with your doctor, preferably from before you become pregnant. You may need to have your medication weaned down or changed, and your medications will need to be monitored throughout your pregnancy. Above all, do not simply stop taking your medications without first discussing it with your doctor. Stopping your medication could cause you to have more frequent seizures, which could be dangerous to your unborn baby. </p> <p>Because of the risks of drug therapy to the unborn baby, it is recommended that pregnant women with epilepsy be treated with one drug only, at the lowest possible dose. Folic acid should be taken at a dose of 0.4 mg to 4 mg per day; neurologists most commonly recommend a dose of 1 mg per day. Pregnant women with epilepsy should be offered a prenatal test called maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein at 15 to 20 weeks, and ultrasound at 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy, in order to check for neural tube defects. Finally, these women should be given vitamin K during the last month of pregnancy to guard against hemorrhage in the newborn baby. </p> <p>After you give birth, feel free to breastfeed. Most anti-epileptic medications pass into the breast milk but at such low doses that they are not likely to affect the baby. Make sure to tell your baby’s doctor about which medications you are taking while you are breastfeeding. </p> <p>For more information, see the <a href="/Article?contentid=2122&language=English">Sex and Reproduction</a> page in the <a href="/epilepsy">Epilepsy Resource Centre</a>.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/epilepsy_and_pregnancy.jpgEpilepsy and pregnancy

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