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Women with Epilepsy Program

Women with epilepsy face unique challenges in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of epilepsy. Certain seizure disorders and types of epilepsy can be connected to a woman’s hormonal cycle. The Women’s Epilepsy Program at UI Health addresses the specific needs and concerns of women with epilepsy.

Women with epilepsy face specific needs that need to be addressed and discussed:  anti-seizure drugs may interact with oral contraceptives, hormonal replacement, and fertility treatments. Dr. Serafini works closely with patients’ primary care physicians and OB/GYNs to provide comprehensive care for all women with epilepsy. 

Women can also receive counseling for the following:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Breastfeeding 
  • Newborn Care 
  • Menstrual Cycle 
  • Contraception
  • Fertility Treatments 
  • Menopause 
  • Hormone Replacement 
  • Bone Health

Epilepsy and seizures can also affect hormone levels and the female reproductive cycle.  It is also extremely important to discuss family planning and understand the potential effect of each patient’s anti-seizure drugs on pregnancy.

All women who are living with epilepsy or diagnosed with a seizure disorder can benefit from a comprehensive evaluation with a physician trained in the treatment of women’s epilepsy.  Dr. Anna Serafini, who has specialized training in women’s issues in epilepsy, runs the women with epilepsy clinic at UI Health and can provide consultations or ongoing care. 

Dr. Serafini works closely with the Obs for all those epilepsy patients who are contemplating pregnancy or are pregnant. The goal is to find the perfect balance between choosing the best medication at the right dose to control their seizures while posing the most minimal risk to the developing baby. This requires a delicate balance that necessitates continued follow-up with our specialized physicians.