Pregnancy does not cause epilepsy. But a pregnant woman who has epilepsy may have seizures more often. This may be because medicines to treat epilepsy can work differently during pregnancy. They may not be absorbed as well.
Can you develop epilepsy during pregnancy?
There is a condition that some women may have their first seizures during pregnancy and continue to get spontaneous recurrent seizures after delivery, which is called new onset epilepsy during pregnancy.
What causes seizures during pregnancy?
What causes eclampsia? Eclampsia often follows preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure occurring in pregnancy and, rarely, postpartum. Other findings may also be present such as protein in the urine. If your preeclampsia worsens and affects your brain, causing seizures, you have developed eclampsia.
How common is epilepsy in pregnancy?
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in pregnancy, with a prevalence of 0.5–1%.
Can pregnancy hormones cause seizures?
Some women are at greater risk of having a seizure during pregnancy and at certain times of their menstrual cycle because of changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones continually increase and decrease throughout a woman’s life.
How is epilepsy diagnosed in pregnancy?
Most women with epilepsy will have been diagnosed before pregnancy. The diagnosis of epilepsy is based on a health history and physical exam. The diagnosis can only be made after you have had more than one seizure. Your healthcare provider may order tests based on how often you have seizures.
How can I prevent epilepsy during pregnancy?
Don’t adjust the dose or stop taking the medication on your own. Uncontrolled seizures likely pose a greater risk to your baby than does any medication.
How should I prepare for pregnancy?
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Take prenatal vitamins.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, illegal drugs and caffeine.
Can preeclampsia cause seizures?
Postpartum preeclampsia requires prompt treatment. Left untreated, postpartum preeclampsia can cause seizures and other serious complications.
Is epilepsy considered high risk pregnancy?
These generalized seizures (especially tonic-clonic ones) carry more risk to both mother and baby. These risks include trauma from falls or burns, increased risk of premature labor, miscarriages, and lowering of the fetal heart rate. Getting and keeping good seizure control during pregnancy is crucial.
Can lack of folic acid cause seizures?
Folic acid was initially suspected to be epileptogenic 1, but that concern has been resolved, as research has demonstrated that folic acid in less than supraphysiologic concentrations does not promote seizures.
What does folic acid do for epilepsy?
Most experts agree that folic acid supplementation is a key preconception intervention, particularly in women with epilepsy who take anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Primary prevention of neural tube defect through folic acid supplementation results in reduction of risk in an otherwise healthy population.
Can hormones trigger epilepsy?
Are all seizures caused by hormone changes? Hormones generally do not cause seizures but can influence if or when their happen. Some women with epilepsy experience changes in their seizure patterns at times of hormonal fluctuations. For example, puberty is a time when hormones are stimulating body changes.
How are seizures treated during pregnancy?
Of the new anti-seizure medications, lamotrigine and levetiracetam are the most widely used due to their known safety during pregnancy. Clearance of lamotrigine and levetiracetam doubles during pregnancy compared to before pregnancy.
Can low progesterone cause seizures?
The amount of these hormones in the body changes throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. The drop in progesterone just before menstruation may trigger seizures in women with CE. The rise in estrogen during ovulation may also rigger seizures in women with CE.