Nowadays having epilepsy is no longer usually a reason not to have children of your own. Most expectant mothers with epilepsy progress through pregnancy largely without problem.
Important note: It is important to discuss starting a family with your neurologist well in advance, if possible two years before a planned pregnancy. This is particularly relevant to girls and young women taking valproate (trade names include Depakine and Orfiril), and probably also for topiramate. – See the base of this page for more information regarding valproate.
Women of child-bearing age who are on anti-seizure medication should take folic acid regularly in consultation with their doctor – at the latest when they start trying for a baby, and definitely prior to conception. In the light of recent research, the Epilepsy League recommends a dose of 1-3 mg per day. Higher doses can be considered on an individual basis, depending on the mother’s folate blood level or ethrocyte test results. This could be the case for expectant mothers who are on powerful enzyme-inducing medicines.
As contraceptives can interact with anti-epileptic drugs, women should also consult their neurologist if they need to take them.