Epilepsy affects both men and women, but the health, treatment, and impact of having epilepsy will vary depending on gender.
- Hormonal changes in a woman may vary throughout the lifespan, as well as during monthly menstrual cycles, and may affect seizure control.
- Seizures may start, stop, or change at times of puberty, pregnancy or menopause.
- Some women may have reproductive problems or concerns around menopause that need careful evaluation and treatment by both their epilepsy and women's health providers.
- The overwhelming majority of women with epilepsy have healthy babies. But women's care during pregnancy needs special consideration to ensure healthy mothers and babies.
- Some seizure medications have a greater risk of birth defects in the child when the mother takes the medicine during pregnancy. Advance planning before pregnancy can help women get on the best medication before pregnancy.
- Being a mother with epilepsy often raises unique challenges. Being informed and finding the right parenting skills and resources is a must for any mother.
- Hormones, seizures and epilepsy can affect bone health too!
Browse around the Information For Women section to get started.
Reviewed by: Patricia O. Shafer | RN | MN on 7/2014