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Hello welcome to help -- -- document in the United States epilepsy affects nearly one million women of childbearing age.
Years ago women with this condition were often discourage.
From getting pregnant well -- -- change.
Thanks to early and regular prenatal care more than 90% of pregnant women.
Who have -- let's see deliver healthy babies according to the epilepsy foundation.
Joining me today is doctor Cynthia -- she is the director of the comprehensive.
Epilepsy care center our North Shore -- -- health system with.
Some tips to give patients were thinking of having babies -- -- Lot of women with epilepsy.
Having babies but let's talk about some of the basics.
What is the roles of hormones in general when it comes to epilepsy risks.
Well many women with epilepsy.
Experience he's -- exacerbation.
Around the time of their menstrual periods and that is thought to be due to.
The -- the car -- during the menstrual cycle.
So we are working on ways to treat specifically those hormone exacerbated.
Seizures for women with epilepsy.
Now when epilepsy.
Let let's say.
Do you see where epilepsy spiking.
Especially in women that really have -- a grand Mal seizures in that.
Year old decade and then once again into the menopausal phases sort of subsides a little bit.
Well that's a very interesting question overall epilepsy has an increase in incidents both genders around puberty right.
And actually has steady but -- aunt -- -- -- lifetime and in an increase in the onset in the mature years.
For women with epilepsy who have.
That seizure exacerbation with their menstrual cycle which is -- probably about 13 of women.
Those women actually do experience -- improvement you can -- seizures with -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Give me a couple of things that I should know before we tried to have -- The most important thing that a neurologist.
Would discuss with you.
Is whether the seizures are under good control okay.
Need to have the patient doing well with well controlled seizures hopefully no -- user very mild very frequent -- going into pregnancy.
Seizures will likely remain the same well controlled during pregnancy.
-- the same treatment.
So once the patient is established as being well controlled.
Ideas to look at the medications.
Most of the medications we use have a fairly.
Low risk -- -- birth defects.
So if they're.
Women with epilepsy is taking one of those medications usually it's a matter of discussing carefully having her in the lowest effective dose.
That control -- seizures and checking this serum blood level to see.
What the level is to aim for.
Then let's illustrate -- -- simply when you say well control epilepsy are you talking about if on the regular epileptic and let's say again it.
Daily seizures you wouldn't classify that as poorly controlled.
Where -- control OK so what would be the minimum standard for calling somebody will control.
A seizure a week seizure a month seizure every three months.
You have any as -- PM.
Right now -- the epilepsy foundation in the International League against epilepsy the American epilepsy society.
Really classify intractable seizures as having more than one teacher per year.
Don't know really English -- you really have to be a -- a right seizure free that's number one -- -- list -- about medications person.
Any particular group of medications.
That concern you in a pregnant.
Well at this point you know -- International.
Registries on the valuing outcomes of pregnancy in women epilepsy one drug has emerged as being.
More risky than the others and that's how pro -- It was first recognized in the ninety's to be associated with structural birth defects -- -- -- -- neural tube defects.
More recently it was it has been associated with adverse cognitive outcomes -- intellectual outcomes in the babies more than the other.
Drugs and even more recently.
Foxes and has been associated with -- code -- proper Cassidy exposure right -- you -- And but yet still is one of the most popular -- utilized today.
It remains one of the most popular drugs utilized.
In the US and worldwide remember it's used for depression and bipolar I doubt it but -- they use is declining worldwide over the last decade right.
Would there'd be any kind of epilepsy.
Which would be Contra indicated.
In pregnancy in other words.
Is there any this specific.
And epileptic -- -- the patient when he was saying listen I don't think that this is a good idea for you to get right.
There's no specific form of epilepsy that in and of itself -- be -- country indication.
It's really about the seizure frequency.
Sometimes of course the underlying cause of the seizure disorder may -- have a -- -- prohibit.
Prohibitive for a healthy pregnancy can but women who have cerebral -- And have -- relate to that you know.
They can usually bear children.
Without a problem.
What is it did the blue course there once the patient gets pregnant I mean -- questions most of an awfully as anything by a lot of pregnant patient is can I get an epidural.
Moon what would you say to that sort spoke with -- okay.
All right what is the likelihood that my child's gonna have epilepsy in the future.
It appears from large population studies that.
Off spring of women and men with epilepsy.
Have a slightly higher risk they -- children developing epilepsy about one to 2%.
So it's still low but when asked that question I can't say.
Right it's their rights the -- not zero and of course.
There is a little probability.
Of that being.
Had inherited trade in the -- all right palm anything's -- the husbands can do.
They can be very supportive to their wives and especially after the baby is born because.
All forms of epilepsy or seizures are exacerbated by exhaustion and fatigue.
So move ahead on Linehan yeah they have -- -- how exactly.
That's I think I was told.
Fathers of epileptic limitless and the best thing you can do is make sure that you -- has as much comfort at home but especially when the baby comes home.
Listen she -- to sleep.
She needs to rest you get up in the middle and -- you feed the baby.
You do everything and give very good and good a good time because indeed that doesn't happen.
Then you sees spikes and epilepsy you don't want a woman having a baby in her hands and then having a seizure on both of them falling down and getting -- That's the bottom line and that's what -- can do.
Are you goes -- good researcher here.
Yes we are give -- thirty seconds of that we are actively enrolling in our research I've -- -- call for women with epilepsy who are trying to get pregnant.
We are studying whether they get pregnant -- per month basis as readily as women who don't have epilepsy so it's a fun study.
Because we give them an iPod Touch.
Them to keep -- keep track of their menstrual periods and when their intimate but it's a fun study and we -- -- in a very important question I believe thinking all right thank you so much and people can get information that.
Northstar LA today dot com website thank you -- thank you for being here my pleasure.
And if you have any health questions you are told to me about email me to have fox undocumented foxnews.com thanks for watching for Fox News -- doctor.