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Pregnant women with epilepsy "not receiving adequate healthcare" - study

25 September, 2000

According to a new study in the British Medical Journal, pregnant women that have epilepsy are not receiving adequate healthcare.

 The study was undertaken at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and consulted 359 women who had epilepsy and had given birth. Just one in three of the women were receiving adequate care. Half of those questioned became pregnant by accident, due to failure of contraceptives.

Women that have epilepsy are advised to consult their GPs before they become pregnant because their medication may affect their contraceptives, and the development of their babies. However, doctors are not getting this message across.

A BEA spokeswoman comments: “Not all GPs ask women if they are taking the pill. This is a problem because women with epilepsy are more likely to become pregnant because their drugs can react against contraceptives.”