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Topiramate (less than 200 mg daily) and contraception

Planned contraception

Types of planned contraception that may work well for you

Barrier methods

Barrier methods are worn during sex to prevent the sperm reaching the egg. These barriers include:

  • Cap (FemCap)
  • Condom or sheath
  • Diaphragm
  • Femidom (Milex)

Hormonal contraception

Some methods of contraception use the hormones oestrogen and progestogen, and some use just progestogen. These hormones are similar to those that your own body produces to control your menstrual cycle, when each month your body prepares to have a baby.

  • Combined oral contraceptive pill (the pill)
  • Contraceptive implant (Nexplanon)
  • Contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera)
  • Contraceptive injection (Noristerat) (short term method of contraception only)
  • Contraceptive patch (Ortho Evra)
  • Hormone releasing intrauterine system (IUS) (Mirena)
  • Progestogen-only pill (the mini pill)
  • Vaginal ring (NuvaRing)

Intrauterine devices

  • Copper intrauterine device (IUD) coil
  • Hormone releasing intrauterine system (IUS) (Mirena)

These are small, T-shaped birth control devices that are inserted into a woman's uterus (womb) to prevent pregnancy.


  • Female sterilisation

This involves an operation to permanently prevent pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are blocked or sealed by applying a clip, ring or tying and cutting and removing a piece of each fallopian tube. This is to prevent eggs from reaching the sperm and becoming fertilised. It is usually carried out under local or general anaesthetic.

  • Male sterilisation

This involves an operation to cut or seal the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis into the fluid that is ejaculated during sex. This is a permanently method of birth control and is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.

Types of planned contraception that are not recommended for you

Natural birth control

  • Persona contraception monitor
  • Rhythm method
  • Sympto-thermal method

Unplanned contraception

Those that may work well for you:

  • Morning-after pill: Levonorgestrel (Levonelle) or Ulipristal acetate (EllaOne)
  • Copper intrauterine device  (IUD) coil

How can I find out more about contraception?

Talk to your family doctor, epilepsy specialist nurse or your local family planning clinic. They can help you choose a form of contraception that will work for you and suit your lifestyle.

It’s important to be happy with your choice, and to know how to use it properly, if you don’t want to become pregnant.

Further information is available from:

NHS website
Website: nhs.uk

Family Planning Association
Website: fpa.org.uk

Event Date: 
Friday 23 October 2015

Epilepsy Action would like to thank Beth Irwin, epilepsy nurse/midwife, The Royal Hospital, Belfast, for her help in planning this information and Kim Morley, epilepsy specialist midwife for her contribution to this information.

Beth Irwin and Kim Morley have declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated May 2019
    To be reviewed May 2022

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