Sexual and reproductive health information and support for teens with epilepsy

Women with epilepsy can get pregnant.

You might have heard that women with epilepsy can’t get pregnant. That’s not true. Women with epilepsy can get pregnant. However, they’re more likely to be infertile than other women without epilepsy, so it’s true that getting pregnant can be challenging for some women with epilepsy.

It’s safe to get pregnant when you have epilepsy.

Lots of people with epilepsy think they can’t safely get pregnant. But most women with epilepsy can have safe and healthy pregnancies.

  • You might worry you will have seizures during pregnancy, harming yourself or your pregnancy. But this doesn’t happen to most women with epilepsy, especially if their seizures are under control before pregnancy.
  • You might worry that your epilepsy medications will cause birth defects. There are some risks of birth defects when taking epilepsy medications during pregnancy. It’s important to remember that over 90% of women with epilepsy who have children have healthy babies that don’t have birth defects and don’t inherit epilepsy.

People with epilepsy make great parents.

Lots of people worry that having epilepsy might make it hard to be a parent. They worry about having seizures while they’re taking care of a child and not being able to balance taking care of their own health while looking out for a child.

Though having epilepsy might make parenting more challenging, it’s important to remember you can be a great mom! Some moms with epilepsy point out how helpful it is to have help raising kids from their families and friends, which is true for women who don’t have epilepsy too. If you’re thinking about becoming a mom or have kids, it might be helpful to hear from other moms with epilepsy.

If you’re pregnant, you have options.

You will need to think through the pros and cons of abortion, adoption, and parenting.

If you’re not ready to have a child, abortion is an option. Abortion is safe, common, and legal. The National Abortion Federation can give you information about abortion, and help you find out where to get an abortion and how to pay for it.

If you would like to be a parent or want to consider adoption, talk to your doctor right away about ways to take care of your health for the rest of your pregnancy.

Not sure what to do?

  • The Pregnancy Options Workbook is a great place to start thinking through your options.
  • Backline, an online or telephone resource, can provide judgment free support in thinking through all of your options.

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