Can Epilepsy Patients Get Pregnant?

Can Epilepsy Patients Get Pregnant?

The 9-month pregnancy period is a challenging process for even the healthiest expectant mothers. Pregnancy carries higher risks for both the baby and the mother when it is concurrent with epilepsy. However, this does not prevent a person from becoming a mother. “What helps epilepsy during pregnancy period?” You should definitely talk to your doctor before pregnancy to get answers to questions like this and to manage this process with expert opinion. In this meeting, your doctor will evaluate how you are managing this situation and review the treatment changes that should be implemented before pregnancy. At this stage of evaluation, pregnancy is not recommended for women who have had frequent pre-pregnancy seizures until they have better control of the condition. Here you can find answers to questions such as:

What is epilepsy?

“What is epilepsy?” Epilepsy is a health problem that occurs with a temporary abnormal electrical activity in the brain cells due to short-term brain dysfunction.

What Are Epilepsy Symptoms?

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world. If you have epilepsy, fluctuations in electrical activity in your brain can cause recurrent seizures. Seizures experienced by the patient are known as basic epilepsy symptoms. However, these symptoms are very diverse. The symptoms are generally as follows:

  • Looking straight ahead, repetitive swallowing, and complete immobility for a few seconds characterize seizures that can be repeated many times a day.
  • Seizures, usually lasting a few minutes, typically begin with unconsciousness and falling, followed by stiffness, then continue as jerking movements and incontinence. After the seizure ends, there is usually a period of confusion and deep sleep.

What Causes Epilepsy?

Some people may find that seizures occur in a pattern or are more likely to occur in certain situations. Noticing triggering factors that may precede a seizure (also called seizure triggers) can help you understand when a seizure may come. So what causes epilepsy? Here is “Why does epilepsy occur?” Answers to the question:

  • Alcohol
  • Use of certain medications
  • Certain foods, excess caffeine, or other products that may aggravate seizures
  • Illness (both with and without fever)
  • Not eating well, not eating for a long time, dehydration, insufficient fluid intake, low blood sugar, vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Menstrual cycle or other hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation – overly tired, not sleeping well, not getting enough sleep, sleep disturbances
  • Drug use
  • Bright flashing lights or patterns

Diagnosing Epilepsy

Patients with epilepsy symptoms and complaints apply to the doctor. At this stage, the doctor looks for answers to questions such as what causes epilepsy and how it shows symptoms. However, it is not always easy to diagnose, as there is no single test that can diagnose epilepsy. Doctors collect a lot of different information to evaluate the causes of seizures. You may be diagnosed with epilepsy if you have had two or more seizures that started in the brain. Your diagnosis is based on figuring out what happened to you before, during, and after your seizures. For example, some types of fainting can look like epileptic seizures, and often before they pass out, a person feels cold, buzzing, and their vision is blurred. But epileptic seizures happen very suddenly, and a person may have no warning signs.

Epilepsy Treatment

There are no known epilepsy treatments. But advances in epilepsy treatment make it possible for most people to achieve seizure control. The first treatment step is usually to find the right drug or anti-epileptic drug. If seizures persist, other treatments such as devices, dietary modifications, or surgery can help control the seizures.

Pregnancy Planning in Epilepsy

People with epilepsy can become pregnant. Treatment of epilepsy during pregnancy is individually evaluated for the patient. In this regard, the pregnancy process is planned by evaluating the seizure type, the duration of the seizure, the frequency of the seizures and the drugs used for the seizures.

Drug Therapy in Pregnancy

“How does one recover from epilepsy? Do seizures increase during pregnancy? Can epilepsy drugs be used during pregnancy? Such questions can be answered as follows: The frequency of seizures during pregnancy due to epilepsy syndromes may sometimes increase or stay the same. In this process, some epilepsy drugs can be used. However, drugs with low risk for the baby are prescribed in appropriate doses and the patient is ensured to take these drugs at appropriate intervals. With a properly planned process and the right drugs, you can avoid prolonged seizures and decrease the risks of falling due to seizures during pregnancy. The use of medications should be minimized under doctor control.

Risks of Pregnancy in Epilepsy

With epileptic seizures experienced during pregnancy, oxygen supply to the fetus may decrease, premature birth may occur, the fetal heart rate may slow down or the fetus may be injured.

Breastfeeding Period of Epileptic Mothers

“Can epilepsy patients get pregnant?” As well as the question of what awaits patients during the post-pregnancy breastfeeding period, it is also a matter of curiosity. “I have epilepsy and I am pregnant, can I breastfeed my baby afterwards?” If you are wondering, here is the answer to this question: Mothers with epilepsy can breastfeed their babies comfortably. Because most of the epilepsy drugs used in pregnancy do not harm the baby even if they pass to the baby with milk. For this reason, the mother with epilepsy should be closely monitored in the prenatal and postnatal period in cooperation with the neurologist and obstetrician.


Is epilepsy disease genetic?

“Is epilepsy genetic?” The question can be answered as; if there is epilepsy in the family, it is more likely to be seen genetically.


Does epilepsy go away?

If you're wondering, you should know that medication or, if necessary, surgery can control seizures in most people with epilepsy. Some epilepsy patients may need lifelong treatment to control the seizure activity.


Does epilepsy pass from mother to child?

“Does the epilepsy pass to the baby?” The question is also among the wondered topics. The probability of infants of epileptic mothers to have epilepsy is between 9% and 12%.


How should epilepsy patients give birth?

“How should epilepsy patients give birth?” If you're wondering, you should know that epilepsy in general has no effect on your method of delivery. As with women without epilepsy, you can deliver your baby vaginally or by cesarean section. This is entirely up to you and your doctor.

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