While many aspects of epilepsy care are similar for men and women, there are special considerations for women with epilepsy who are either pregnant or are capable of becoming pregnant. These considerations relate to choice of contraception, planning for pregnancy and overall obstetric care during pregnancy.

Because of the importance of these topics to women and their pregnancies, these quality indicators focus on the care of women with seizures.

The links at the bottom connect to detailed discussions of these topics as well as handy checklists that you can print that will ensure these topics are discussed and that the discussions are documented the patient record.

QI 1. IF a woman with epilepsy is of childbearing potential THEN she should receive daily supplemental folate at a dose of at least 400 mcg. Primary
QI 2. IF a woman with epilepsy is of childbearing potential and receives oral contraceptives in conjunction with an enzyme inducing AED THEN decreased effectiveness of oral contraception should be addressed. (higher doses of the oral contraceptive, alternative birth control methods, or change AED). Primary
QI 3. Prenatal care for a woman with epilepsy should be co-managed by a neurologist and an obstetrician with experience in high risk pregnancy to assure that issues related to the impact of epilepsy and its treatment on the pregnancy are addressed.  Primary

QI = Quality Indicator
Primary = Items that were rated as both valid and necessary indicators are primary quality indicators.

For more information:

Authored By: 
Mary Jo V. Pugh PhD RN
Steven C. Schachter MD
Authored Date: