Can pregnancy trigger epilepsy?

It is not simple to know how pregnancy is going to affect epilepsy. Many cases demonstrated that epilepsy remains unaffected. While in others, an improvement in the condition is still under research. As pregnancy is one of the major causes of emotional and physical stress, the seizure is more likely to become severe in the person. Researchers recommend that you should immediately refer to your doctor if such things happen to you.

The problems that the women face during epilepsy generally based on hormones. Two of the most important hormones related to epilepsy in women are: –

  1. Estrogen – Increases the electrical activity in the brain.
  2. Progesterone – It has reverse effects.

pregnancy trigger epilepsy

Does epilepsy affect the fetus if the mother has epilepsy?

epilepsy affect the fetus

The answer to this question depends on the type of seizure she faces. As a result, it is advisable to take good care of the early symptoms for quick help.

Symptoms of epilepsy during pregnancy

  1. Fainting.
  2. Loss of Memory.
  3. Dizziness.
  4. Mood swing.
  5. Confusion.

The kind of seizure one faces along with epilepsy can lead to different types of complications. If a woman is facing absence or partial seizure, then the risk on the baby will be the least. If a pregnant lady is suffering from a tonic-clonic seizure, then the risk on the baby will be quite high. During this kind of seizure, there is a problem in breathing. It does not affect the mother but decreases down the supply of oxygen to the baby. Apart from that, after a tonic-clonic seizure, the baby’s heart rate can get slow for half an hour. This kind of seizure also uplifts the chances of trauma in the baby.

Epileptic seizure

Can epileptic seizures be risky during pregnancy?

epileptic seizures be risky

Epileptic seizures during pregnancy-  A pregnant woman may face: –

  1. Birth before time accepted.
  2. Preterm labor.
  3. The oxygen in the fetus gets reduced.
  4. The fetal heart rate gets reduced.
  5. The fetus may get injured.
  6. Miscarriage may take place due to trauma.
  7. The placenta may get separated from the uterus prematurely.

Pregnant ladies with unmanageable epilepsy were joined up with a longitudinal study between January 2005 and January 2018 in Brazil. They consistently trailed by a nervous system specialist until their pregnancy ends. Neurological results included status epilepticus, seizure control, and adherence to antiepileptic prescriptions. The outcomes included significant innate mutations and obstetrical intricacies. It showed that: –

  1. Countless ladies with medication for epilepsy did not accomplish seizure control in pregnancy.
  2. The vast majority of patients required a change in treatment during pregnancy, in portion and additionally in the number of antiepileptic drugs.
  3. Increment in seizure recurrence has a relation with poor adherence, status epilepticus, expanded portion providing another antiepileptic tranquilize.
  4. intricacies for childbirth correlate polytherapy, feeble adherence, and seizure weakening together.
  5. Increment in seizure recurrence has a relation with poor adherence, status epilepticus, expanded portion providing another antiepileptic tranquilize.
  6. intricacies for childbirth correlate polytherapy, feeble adherence, and seizure weakening together.


A study made to explain the pregnancy and labor encounters of ladies with epilepsy (WWE). Information gathered from 2016–2017 through individual meetings with 12 WWE who experienced birth within three years. Verbatim transcripts were breaking down after Colaizzi’s phenomenological examination to reveal the significance of the encounters of the members.

After the research finished, the results were like: –

  • Feeling restless because of unexpected changes and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Standing at an intersection that never ensures fulfillment.
  • Carrying a weight of dreadful desire and day by day schedules.
  • Enjoying prizes of pregnancy and labor as a lady with epilepsy.

WWE had substantial tension about the conceivable variation from the norm of their children during pregnancy. They had blended sentiments about conveyance and needed to settle on an absolute choice about breastfeeding in light of antiepileptic medications use. After birth, they had expanded fear about the conceivable legacy of the pain and experienced severe challenges dealing with the weight of childcare and seizure control. Nonetheless, pregnancy enables these ladies to pick up sickness awareness and further welcome the significance of their wellbeing. The investigation results show the requirement for multidisciplinary intercession for WWE, previously, during, and after pregnancy to expand correspondence with wellbeing experts. Particularly, earlier established inclination instructions by medical attendants are required.

Seizures in pregnancy treatment

Researchers recommend that taking precautions is the most reliable method to control any great danger. Let’s look upon some of the best precautions taken to reduce the risks of epilepsy.

  1. Make sure that your pregnancy well planned. It will give you more time to work with your epilepsy and neurology team.
  2. Make sure that you have a medical team that will be with you before, during, and after pregnancy.
  3. Keep updated about your seizure status with the medical team.
  4. You should consume folic acid as well as prenatal vitamins.
  5. Make sure that you visit your neurology team regularly during your pregnancy.

Focus on sound existence and seizure triggers. A few ladies are bound to have seizures during pregnancy because of hormonal changes, fluctuating drug levels, or different variables.

  • Anticonvulsant medications during pregnancy

One of the essential things that every pregnant woman with epilepsy is afraid of is the effect that the medication will cause on the baby. Researchers reported that women with epilepsy have a 4 to 6% chance of giving birth to a defected baby as a result of anticonvulsant drugs. Some defects are mild like small toenails or small fingers, while some of them are significant defects. Regularly, the dominant ones include heart problems, spina bifida, and neural tube defects. It is crucial for a pregnant woman should talk to her doctor while taking anticonvulsant medication. Don’t take any of them if not prescribed by your doctor.

  • Folic acid

Pregnant women should administer folic acid to drop down the chance of defects in neural tubes and reduce brain disorders. Assuredly, your doctor will prescribe a high dosage of folic acid supplements during your initial months.

During the time of your pregnancy, your blood pressure, and weight will get checked several times. Frequent blood tests will also be taken from you to know about your medication levels. Your doctor will prescribe you to take Vitamin K supplements during the last phase of pregnancy.

What happens to an epileptic pregnant woman during labor and delivery?

epileptic pregnant woman during labor and delivery

Most of the women who are pregnant and have epilepsy can give birth to their babies without any problem. During the time of labor, the seizure does not occur. If a lady is facing seizure, meanwhile the labor time, then it can be easily stopped through medication. Delivery is done through C-section if the seizure is continuing for a prolonged period.

You have a high chance of getting seizure during the time of delivery if it is frequent during the third trimester. Your doctor will take care of the best delivery method for you.

Can epilepsy fade away by time after pregnancy?

This thing is quite unpredictable. Some of the women face several changes in their epileptic seizures during pregnancy. The reports showed that seizure generally takes place throughout the postpartum period, which is the period after birth. The method of labor and delivery has made the body of the woman entirely stressful. Hardly there is any time available for rest. She is anxious, as well as excited after giving birth. Hormones are changing in her. All these small things result in difficulties in sleep and stress on the mind. Thus, epilepsy may be more common.

Seizures during pregnancy

Managing epilepsy at the time of pregnancy means keeping a balance between fetal as well as maternal risks due to the effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). A common way to make this achievable, knowing these AEDs and the way it is going to affect the body. A tonic-clonic seizure is extremely dangerous than the AEDs for the mother and the baby. But it is also possible that infants who administered AEDs in utero run an expanded danger of actual disorder: roughly double the rate in the overall public. A modern study shows that the strike due to valproic acid is stronger when compared to other AEDs. Polytherapy, where a pregnant woman gets treatment with more than one AEDs, are also comparatively more harmful than monotherapy.

Use the method of monotherapy, where a low portion of appropriate AED supplied to pregnant women. The principal is to use AEDs in such a way that tonic-clonic seizure limited to a great extent, and the opportunities of risk to the fetus get reduced.

  1. Valproic acid should not be used
  2. If there are some significant treatment that is with high significance to pregnant women, then it should complete before conception.
  3. Frequent monitoring of the concentration of drugs is advisable during pregnancy. Lamotrigine and oxcarbazepine are useful and with more importance.

Eventually, epilepsy is not a condition that makes you avoid pregnancy. You can be a mom, and you can have a healthy baby as well. It is all about following the right medication at the right time. Thus, I always advise my audience to take precautions before they know that they are pregnant. Once you marry, talk to your physician about the right pill, to be ready for pregnancy. Because, in most cases, the giant fear is in the first trimester.

Also, if your type of seizure is a tonic-clonic seizure, do your best to be sensitive to the early symptoms (aura). Additionally, try not to be alone, and if you feel the seizure is about to start, ask your surrounding people to call the ambulance at once for immediate help. Yes, your baby may face some miscarriage threats; however, this is manageable to a great extent. Do not worry about your fetus during delivery. Doctors can Ideally manage epilepsy throughout labor time. Finally, have faith to have a healthy child with no epilepsy. Trust me, the psychological state always count J.

Do not forget to check frequently our blog for the upcoming epilepsy article. Absolutely, we will provide many helpful tips for you and your caregivers.
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