Women with epilepsy: hormonal issues from menarche through menopause

Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Sep;11(2):160-78. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.03.007. Epub 2007 Jul 26.


Epilepsy is a multilayered disorder complicated by numerous comorbid conditions and hormonal changes. More than 1.5 million girls and women with epilepsy face side effects that are compounded at different ages by menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, fetal health, bone health, and other health issues. Changes in hormonal balance during maturation, from menarche through menopause, affect seizure thresholds and antiepileptic drugs, and vice versa. This overview provides physicians with a background on the multiple issues relevant to women of all ages in the reproductive years, including those planning to conceive and those who are pregnant, and beyond the childbearing years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Menarche / metabolism*
  • Menopause / metabolism*
  • Women's Health*


  • Hormones