Epilepsy And Pregnancy

Epilepsy And Pregnancy


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Surely, epilepsy makes it difficult to plan pregnancy and considerably complicates its current, but at the same time, chances to give birth to a healthy child are high enough, especially provided that a preparation for this desired event is correct.

As epilepsy is quite serious disorder of the brain, its treatment lasts for years. Unfortunately, it's extremely rare when such disease passes without complications. Therefore, planning the child's birth, each woman ought to choose the most optimum period of time when pregnancy and epilepsy won't obviously contradict each other.

Planning Of Pregnancy In Case Of Epilepsy

Planning pregnancy, it's important to realize that epilepsy is not in an aggravation stage during current period. Remember, that not only epileptic seizures, but also drug treatment, which is carried out by the woman, can exert a negative impact on the growing fetus. The exacerbation of the disease can provoke defects of the fetus development because of disorder of blood circulation in the woman’s organism and, accordingly, in the region of placenta, thereby, destroying its protective functions. Medicines may also cause malformations in the fetus.

Doctors consider that pregnancy and epilepsy are incompatible if:

  • epilepsy is difficult to treat;
  • the disease is accompanied by heavy generalized attacks;
  • the disease is accompanied by severe mental disorders in the patient.

In other cases, at timely treatment and correct behavior, the patient is capable to bear and give birth to the healthy child. According to the statistics, more than 90 % of the children whose mothers are patients with epilepsy will be healthy.

The correct preparation for conception of the patient with epilepsy implies:

  1. Protection from pregnancy in the period of complication by using of various measures of contraception. It is worthwhile to note here that some antiepileptic medicines can reduce efficiency of hormonal contraceptives.
  2. Pregnancy in case if epilepsy is in a stage of remission which is achieved with minimum possible doses of drugs.
  3. Binding consultations with a gynecologist and a neurologist.

Epilepsy And Pregnancy

Epilepsy and pregnancy: What you need to know

If all necessary preparation has been carried out correctly under supervision and control of the doctors, then, most often, both the pregnancy and the delivery proceed without any complications and come to the end with birth of the beautiful, healthy baby.

But sometimes there may be a situation when the epileptic seizure develops for the first time and exactly during pregnancy. The main symptoms can be the following: dizziness and faints, ultimate migraine against the background of hysteria, and sleeplessness. Only the doctor can make the exact diagnosis, qualifying such state as epilepsy.

Medical experts around the world recognize that sometimes it is impossible to foresee a course of pregnancy and labors for the woman with epilepsy.

Reaction of the organism may be unpredictable. One has no changes, the others even improve their state, but, nevertheless, fatal cases among babies and cases with threat to mother’s life and health are known.

Serious danger is constituted by generalized attacks during which mother’s respiration may be disordered and, therefore, delivering oxygen to the fetus goes down, circulation at inner bodies may be broken, and the probability of getting injured when falling is high.

However, well-timed treatment, constant control for the pregnant woman, and absence of pathologies in fetation allow the future mother to carry out Cesarean section even in case of epilepsy. Childbirth can pass also in the natural way, especially if symptoms of epilepsy are absent.

Treatment Of Epilepsy

Treatment of epilepsy doesn't stop during pregnancy as the refusal of medicines can increase the diseased tendencies of the patient and lead to increase of frequency of attacks. Transition from one medicine to another is also important and should be performed gradually.

Most often during pregnancy treatment of epilepsy is carried out by one type of drugs (so-called monotherapy). As a rule, it is carbamazepine or valproate. With an aim of stopping the attacks it may be recommended diazepam. Folic acid may also be prescribed to pregnant women for reduction of negative influence of medicines on the fetus and prevention of miscarriages.

Optimizing adherence in diet during treatment of epilepsy is important. This excludes excitative dishes (coffee, chocolate, marbled meats, etc.). The full-fledged sleep, fresh air can be very useful for organism strengthening.

Whether Epilepsy Is Hereditary Disease?

If future mother has epilepsy with the fixed reason (for example, local damage of brain substance is revealed), then the probability of epilepsy in the child might be a little more (3-4 %), than in population (1 %).

If there is a hereditary factor in relatives of the first level of relationship (parents), then the frequency of inheritance of epilepsy in children reaches 10 %, however the disease in this case, as a rule, will well respond to treatment.

It is accepted that if the father of future child has epilepsy, then the probability of inheritance doesn't exceed the general indices (1%).

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