Convulsions During Pregnancy
What is a seizure?
A seizure occurs when the activity of nerve cells in the brain becomes abnormal. A seizure can cause a change in mood, emotion, consciousness or movement.
What is epilepsy?
is a kind of seizure disorder. It is diagnosed when a person has two or more seizures for no apparent cause.
Can seizures be controlled?
People with repeated seizures often need to take it. These medications do not cure seizure disorders, but they can control all or most seizures. There are more than 20 different anti-epileptic drugs. The choice of medication is based on the patient's age, type of seizure, and side effects
More than 1 drug may be used to control seizures.
What problems can a seizure disorder cause during pregnancy?
Convulsions can affect pregnancy in several ways:
Women with a seizure disorder are more likely to have children than women who do not. This risk may be associated with a seizure disorder or some antiepileptic medication used to treat it.
A seizure that occurs during pregnancy can cause injury to the mother and fetus.
Pregnancy can change the frequency of seizures. Most women will have no change in the frequency of seizures or will have less frequent seizures. One third will have an increase in the frequency of seizures
Many of these problems can be reduced or avoided with good medical care before and during pregnancy.
What are the risks associated with seizures during pregnancy?
Convulsions can be harmful not only to the women themselves but to their babies. Convulsions that cause loss of consciousness, agitation and muscle twitching, called major seizures, are especially dangerous during pregnancy. The risks associated with seizures during pregnancy include trauma from falls, reduced oxygen supply to the baby during convulsions, early labor, and preterm delivery.
Are anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy harmful to the fetus?
Some are associated with an increased risk of birth defects, though low. These include cleft palate (lip or palate not fully closed), heart defects and neural tube defects. One reason why antiepileptic drugs may be associated with an increased risk of birth defects is that many of these drugs affect the way the body uses folic acid. A B vitamin, if there is not enough folic acid before pregnancy and in the first weeks of pregnancy, can increase the baby's risk of neural tube defects. If you are taking anti-seizure medication, your doctor will recommend you to take folic acid supplements before becoming pregnant and clear.
Should I stop taking anti-seizure medication while pregnant?
Because there are serious risks associated with having seizures during pregnancy and because the potential risk of harming the baby from taking anti-epileptic drugs is low, experts recommend that: Pregnancy seizures should be controlled with medication if necessary. However, the type, dosage or amount of anti-seizure medication you take may need to change. Ideally, any changes in medication use should be made before becoming pregnant. This allows you and your doctor to see how medication changes affect you without risking the fetus.
What are the extra steps a doctor can take when monitoring my pregnancy?
Blood tests may be done regularly to make sure the drug level is stable. If the drug level is too high, it can lead to side effects, but if the drug concentration is too low, it can lead to seizures. Blood tests may also be used for certain. Diagnostic tests, including, may be done to determine the appearance of certain birth defects.
Does a seizure disorder affect the way I give birth to a baby?
Convulsions do not affect your delivery. Like most women, women with a seizure disorder may have a vaginal birth unless there is a problem during labor and delivery. In these cases, a caesarean may be needed.
What do I need to know about using birth control after birth?
Antiepileptic drugs may reduce the effectiveness of some. The include,, and. The contraceptive method that is not affected by antiepileptic drugs is the method used, and (for example, spermicide or condom). Some women choose to use barrier method along with hormonal method. is an option if you don't want to keep having kids anymore.
Can I breastfeed?
Most women with convulsive disorders can breastfeed. Although antiepileptic drugs are found in low concentrations in breast milk, in most cases it is not enough to affect the baby.
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