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Epilepsy and birth control

Some women suffering from epilepsy may not be sure whether they can use certain types of birth control. Fortunately, there are no problems in this area and women with this condition may freely use both barriers, timing and hormonal types of contraception.

Basically, diaphragms, spermicidal lubes and creams, intrauterine devices and condoms are all contraceptive barriers that every women with this condition can use. Alternatively, the couple may follow the woman's natural rhythm, avoiding sex during ovulation or not ejaculating inside the vagina during these periods.

Alternatively, birth control pills, hormone implants or hormone injections, all can help women with epilepsy in their birth control and management, without causing any unwanted side-effect or making epilepsy worse in any way.

Contraception and Epilepsy

Most women opt for hormonal type of contraception, this being the safest one. Yet, no method is 100% effective. This is especially true when it comes to women using anti-epileptic drugs at the same time, since some of these are known to interfere with the functioning of hormonal birth control pills.

Therefore, the most effective way of not having children for epileptic women is tubal ligation. This is a surgical procedure through which a female is made infertile. However, you are advised to take this step only if you are certain that you do not want to give birth ever again. A male equivalent of this procedure is called vasectomy and it is also available alternative.

Consult with your gynecologist about the matter and ask about your epilepsy medications and their correlation with various types of contraception.

Some anti-epileptic medications break down hormones which are supposed to ensure contraception, thus allowing pregnancy to take place. Some of these drugs are carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, Phenobarbital, primidone and topiramate.

On the other hand, antiepileptic medications such as valproate and felbamate are quite beneficial means of hormonal contraception since they boost the function of the above mentioned hormones. Yet, in this case, you will need to adjust the dosage of contraception, balancing the hormones.

Choose contraceptive pills with higher does of estrogen. Those with small doses may not protect you from pregnancy, when combined with your epilepsy drugs. Moreover, combine barrier contraception with the pills, making sure your chances of getting pregnant are minimal.

If you find bleeding marks even when you are not ovulating, this can be a sign of an early ovulation and possible pregnancy, being a sign that your current contraceptive measures are not working.

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