Risks and management of pregnancy in women with epilepsy

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Most women with epilepsy today can conceive and bear normal, healthy children, but their pregnancies present an increased risk for complications. Pregnancy can exacerbate seizure frequency in some women with epilepsy, and both maternal epilepsy and in utero exposure to antiepileptic drugs can increase the risk of adverse outcomes in children born to women with epilepsy. These outcomes include fetal loss and perinatal death, congenital malformations and anomalies, neonatal hemorrhage, low birth weight, developmental delay, and childhood epilepsy. After reviewing these risks, this article concludes with practical recommendations for reducing these risks and optimizing the management of pregnant women with epilepsy.


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