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How epilepsy affects women

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects both men and women. However, there are a number of epilepsy issues that are specific to women, and epilepsy impacts women in different ways throughout various stages of life.

At the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, we understand that no two women are alike. Each person is an individual with needs that go beyond just seizure control. Our goal is to enhance quality of life by addressing each patient’s unique needs.

Seizures can affect a woman’s fertility, regularity of her menstrual cycle and onset of menopause. Equally important, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can increase a woman’s risk of having seizures. Some hormonal medications used by women, such as contraceptives, can also increase seizure risk. Women also sometimes find that some seizure medications reduce their libido, which can impact their relationships.

Some anti-epileptic drugs decrease a woman’s bone density, resulting in an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. It is essential to monitor bone health and supplement specific vitamins and minerals, such as calcium. There are medications, as well as lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, that can help rebuild bone density.

Our epileptologists will work with you to address your individual concerns and needs so you can be as healthy as possible while managing your disorder.

Epilepsy & pregnancy

As epilepsy impacts a woman’s ability to get pregnant, it is important for women of childbearing age to seek expert care. Our epileptologists carefully develop a treatment plan that not only cares for the mother-to-be, but also optimizes the health of her unborn child. After your child is born, we will continue to work closely with you if you want to breastfeed to ensure your seizure medications are safe for your new baby.

Managing a woman’s seizures is complex, and the epileptologists at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center are dedicated to working with each and every woman to find the right combination of medications. Our goal is not only to provide ideal seizure control, but ensure all of our patients live life to the fullest.

At the Katz Institute for Women's Health, we have brought together an exceptional team of clinicians who specialize in care for women.

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