I am 20 years old girl I have been diagnosed with epilepsy, a constant thought which bothers me is that will I be able to have a child? This question is frequently asked by young girls/women who are diagnosed with epilepsy. The answer to the above is yes. I shall be discussing about this in a series of blogs.
#Epilepsy during pregnancy can pose some special challenges and the unique concerns.
Yes though some drugs used to treat seizures increase chances of infertility. However, most women who have epilepsy deliver healthy babies . A recent study done in India, concluded that infertility was least common (7.1%) in those epileptic women who were not on antiepileptic drug (AED) exposure compared to those who were with AED exposure (31.8% with one AED exposure, 40.7% with two AED exposures, and 60.3% with three or more AED exposures).(Pratibha Singh et al, Effect of epilepsy on female fertility and reproductive abnormalities: J Hum Reprod Sci. 2011 May-Aug; 4(2): 100–101).Thus it is advised to use a single or 2 medicines and avoid 3 when planning for pregnancy.
#Before planning pregnancy, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist , neurologist and family physician who’ll be handling your pregnancy. They’ll evaluate how well you’re doing with your epilepsy,discuss about any minor events you have had in past or present and consider any treatment changes you might need to make before pregnancy begins.
Take your anti-seizure medication exactly as prescribed. Don’t adjust the dose or stop taking the medication on your own. Remember, uncontrolled seizures pose a greater risk to your baby than does any medication. Do regular tests-ultrasound and blood tests which are helpful to check if your baby has a higher risk of having an abnormality like hole in the heart,a cleft palate and spina bifida.
It’s also important to make #healthy lifestyle choices. For example:
• Eat a healthy diet
• Take prenatal vitamins
• Get enough sleep
• Avoid smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs
Wait for other challenges and concerns bothering your mind in
forthcoming blogs in next week like: