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Women

More than one million women and girls in the United States are living with seizure disorders. They face many unique challenges, from changes during the monthly cycle which may trigger seizures to concerns regarding pregnancy. Social factors leave them vulnerable to discrimination and abuse. Yet their plight and the manner in which they are affected has been largely ignored. As an important part of the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona’s role in advocating for all people with epilepsy, we are committed to addressing the unique health concerns of women with epilepsy.

  • Depression is a major risk for about one in three women with epilepsy.
  • Women with epilepsy face epilepsy-related reproductive difficulties throughout their lives, including increased rates of sexual dysfunction, infertility and seizures related to the menstrual cycle.
  • Despite risks, successful pregnancy is possible, but often inappropriately discouraged by health care providers.
  • Long-term use of some anti-epileptic drugs negatively affects bone health in women.

 

Key Information for Women with Epilepsy

 

Women & Hormones

April 14, 2014 | redpearl_efaz There is a connection between seizures and hormones, although we do not understand it very well. We know that the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, act on certain brain cells, including those in the temporal lobe, a part of the brain where partial seizures often begin. Read More

Birth Control for Women with Epilepsy

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz All available birth control methods can be used by persons with epilepsy. These include: Barriers: diaphragms, spermicidal vaginal creams, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and condoms; Hormonal contraception: birth control pills, hormone implants, or hormone injections. Read More

Epilepsy and Sexual Relations

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz Sexual relationships are a normal part of healthy living. Three things lead to sexual activity: first there is desire - wanting to have sex with a partner. When that feeling is strong, there is arousal - the physical feeling that you “need” to have sex. Read More

Pregnancy and Epilepsy Medication

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz Studies which are being conducted in the area of pregnancy and epilepsy have helped to establish some guidelines for women with epilepsy. Many questions remain unanswered, however, and this is why continued research is so important. Read More

Health Issues After Your Baby is Born

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz After your baby is born, your hormones change and medication levels in your bloodstream tend to rise, increasing the possibility of side effects. These factors may make it necessary for your physician to check medication blood levels more frequently in the first few months after delivery. Read More

Bone Density and Epilepsy

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz For both men and women who have epilepsy, there is an increased risk of bone disease due to certain medications that have been linked to reduced bone health. These include Dilantin, Tegretol, Phenobarbital and Depakote. Read More

Menopause and Epilepsy

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop working, her menstrual periods stop and the level of sex hormones in her body decreases. We know that because hormones have an effect on brain function, seizure patterns may change in some women as they go through menopause. Read More

Special Concerns for Teenage Girls

April 26, 2014 | redpearl_efaz Puberty is the time when your body changes and you grow from a child into an adult. You get taller and weigh more, and you start to grow breasts and body hair. Some of these physical changes happen quickly and the dose of seizure medicine that worked before is not enough for your new body size. Read More