25. Epilepsy in Women of Childbearing Age

  1. John W. Miller MD, PhD Director, UW Regional Epilepsy Center, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery2 and
  2. Howard P. Goodkin MD, PhD The Shure Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology3
  1. Autumn Klein

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch25



How to Cite

Klein, A. (2014) Epilepsy in Women of Childbearing Age, in Epilepsy (eds J. W. Miller and H. P. Goodkin), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch25

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Neurology, UPMC Presbyterian/Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456941

Online ISBN: 9781118456989



  • women;
  • epilepsy;
  • antiepileptic drugs;
  • seizure;
  • contraception;
  • folic acid;
  • reproduction;
  • conception;
  • pregnancy;
  • postpartum


Women with epilepsy (WWE) face challenges throughout their reproductive life that place them and their unborn offspring at risk of adverse events. It is important to choose an antiepileptic drug (AED) that can control seizures, does not interfere with contraception, and is favorable for childhood outcomes. Pregnant women need folic acid, prenatal vitamins, frequent medication management, and careful obstetrical monitoring. Postpartum WWE should be monitored for postpartum depression and counseled about seizures from sleep deprivation. With the proper counseling and attentive care, WWE can maintain seizure control and deliver healthy babies.