June 30, 2022

CURE Epilepsy Statement on the Importance of Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare for People With Epilepsy

As a non-profit organization devoted to the health and well-being of people with epilepsy, CURE Epilepsy believes that access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare is critically important for people of childbearing age who have epilepsy.

For many people with epilepsy, management of their seizures is closely intertwined with issues affecting their reproductive healthcare. Some antiseizure medications can affect the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives. Prenatal exposure to some antiseizure medications can affect a fetus, with potential risks of birth defects and impaired cognitive/behavioral development. Seizures during pregnancy can put a parent’s life at risk as well as risk fetal health in utero due to oxygen deprivation.

Decisions regarding health and well-being for people with epilepsy must be carefully monitored and made in concert with their family, neurologist, and OB/GYN practitioner. These decisions are often neither straightforward nor easy. Healthcare providers must have unfettered access to evidence-based medical care to ensure the best outcomes. CURE epilepsy recognizes these impacts on the very community for whom we are tirelessly working to research a cure for epilepsy.