Epilepsy and women
Clearinghouse Connector – December 2014
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Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting one in 26 people during their lifetime. In adulthood the incidence of epilepsy is equal among men and women. It is estimated that more than 250,000 Australians are living with epilepsy at any point in time, half of whom are women. Epilepsy can be more disruptive to quality of life than many other chronic conditions because of its: hidden, episodic, and unpredictable nature; potential for injury and death; frequency of comorbidities, and associated stigma. The condition can have profound social, physical and psychological consequences. Epilepsy and treating medications may significantly impact on women’s sexual and reproductive health, and pregnancy management. In Australia, approximately 1,500 to 2,000 women on antiepileptic drugs become pregnant each year, and more than 95% will deliver a healthy baby. Mothers with epilepsy need specific strategies to maximise safety when breastfeeding and caring for infants and young children.
Epilepsy : lifestyle issues (Better Health Channel Factsheet) Victoria. Department of Health, 2012
The effects of epilepsy medication on women’s health and fertility Epilepsy Queensland, 2010
Epilepsy : overview HealthyWomen (U.S.A.), 2011
Sexual and reproductive health
Women’s health and epilepsy Medscape.com, 2013
Women and epilepsy Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2009
Antiepileptic drugs and contraception Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), 2010
Discussion tool for women with epilepsy American Epilepsy Society, 2012
Epilepsy in pregnancy : a collaborative team effort of obstetricians, neurologists and primary care physicians for a successful outcome Australian Family Physician, 2014
Epilepsy and pregnancy management (South Australian Paediatric Clinical Guidelines) South Australia. Department of Health, 2012
Management of pregnancy in women with epilepsy Epilepsy Report, 2006
Teratogenesis and perinatal outcomes
Study links epilepsy drug dosage to birth defects Health Issues (Victoria. Department of Health), 2013
Treatment for epilepsy in pregnancy : neurodevelopmental outcomes in the child Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014
Mothers with epilepsy
Practical information for mothers with epilepsy National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) U.K., 2004
Epileptics shouldn’t have to fear stigma ABC Online. The Drum, 2013
‘Out of the shadows’ : needs, perceptions and experiences of people living with epilepsy in Australia The Australian Longitudinal Epilepsy Study (ALES), 2012
Quality of life and community resources In: Epilepsy across the spectrum : promoting health and understanding National Academies Press (U.S.), 2012
Social and psychological issues in patients with epilepsy In: Novel aspects on epilepsy InTech, 2011 – Chapter 16
Bones and fat : metabolic side effects of chronic antiepileptic use The Epilepsy Report, 2009
Anti-epileptic drugs and bone health (ESA Position Statement) Epilepsy Society of Australia, 2009
Epilepsy in the elderly Medscape Multispecialty, 2013
A fair go for people living with epilepsy in Australia : a report for the Parliamentary Friends of Epilepsy Joint Epilepsy Council of Australia, 2009
Informal inquiry into the impact of epilepsy in Australia [report and recommendations] Parliamentary Friends of Epilepsy, 2009
Epilepsy Action Australia Women’s issues
Epilepsy Action Australia Issues for young people
Epilepsy Action (U.K.) Girl talk for teenage girls with epilepsy
Epilepsy Action (U.K.) Women’s campaigns
Epilepsy Advocate (U.S.) Women succeeding with epilepsy
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