Epilepsy is one of the commonest medical problems seen in pregnancy, affecting almost 1-in-200 women. Although epilepsy itself does not increase pregnancy complications, being pregnant can often influence a woman’s seizure control. The risk of SUDEP (sudden unexplained death) is also increased, making pregnancy a high risk time in the life of an epileptic woman.
One of the most important aspects in caring for women with epilepsy is ensuring that the patient is on the most appropriate anti-epileptic medication prior to pregnancy. For this reason, pre-pregnancy counselling and planning with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is extremely important for this condition. Babies born to women with seizure disorders do have higher risks of congenital malformations (4% versus 2%) and this risk is influenced by the specific medication the woman is using at conception.
Recently, a large review article on Epilepsy in Pregnancy has been published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (www.bmj.com/content/bmj/353/bmj.i2880.full.pdf).
Dr Colin Walsh has huge experience in caring for epilepsy and other medical disorders during pregnancy (www.shoreforwomen.com.au/epilepsy-neurological-disorders/). He runs the Medical Disorders in Pregnancy Clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital and sees private patients in his rooms in St Leonards. If you would like to make an appointment to see Dr. Walsh, please call us on 1300 460 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.