Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Epilepsy Health Center

Select An Article

Epilepsy and Your Changing Hormones

Font Size

Epilepsy and Your Menstrual Period continued...

Women with epilepsy have more anovulatory cycles than other women do. Some doctors think that as many as 40% of menstrual cycles in women with epilepsy do not release an egg. It depends on the woman, and it is not always the same every month. Some months a woman will release an egg, and some months she will not. In general, though, women with epilepsy do not ovulate as regularly as women without epilepsy.

Why is that? Doctors do not know for certain. But, some seizures start in the temporal lobes of the brain. This is an area that is very closely connected to the areas regulating hormones. Women who have seizures that start in the temporal lobes may have their hormone production affected by their seizures.

If you can identify the role hormones play in your seizure patterns, it can help with your treatment. Try keeping a calendar of your menstrual cycle, and the days that you have seizures. Include notes about other factors that might be important, such as missed medication, sleep loss, stress, or illness. By sharing these records with your doctor, you can work together to manage your epilepsy more effectively.

Epilepsy and Life Changes

As you've already learned, many people develop their first seizures when they enter puberty. This happens to both men and women. Doctors think this is because before puberty we don't have many sex hormones circulating in our body. After puberty there are many more hormones in the body. Hormones have a direct effect on the cells of the brain.

Does that mean that a woman's seizures might go away when she reaches menopause? Sometimes, but not always. In some women, seizures do seem to just disappear. This usually happens in women who have catamenial epilepsy. For other women, menopause doesn't seem to make a difference in their seizures. And still other women have worse seizures during menopause.

Most of the time, though, doctors say that seizures become easier to control as you get older. They are not sure if that's because the seizures themselves are decreasing, or because newer medications are now available that control epilepsy better than in the past.

Keep in mind that some types of anti-seizure medications can cause bone loss when taken over a long period of time. Since osteoporosis is a particular problem for women who have reached menopause, this would be a good time to talk with your doctor about your medication and what you can do to help prevent osteoporosis. On the whole, it's best to build strong bones early in life -- in your 20s and 30s -- and not wait till you're close to menopause when some of your bone strength may have already been lost.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on July 20, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

human head and brain waves
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Grand mal seizure
How is each one different?
marijuana plant
CBD, a plant chemical, may cut down seizures.
prescription bottle
Which medication is right for you?
Seizures Driving
Questions for Doctor Epilepsy
Graces Magic Diet
Pills spilling from bottle in front of clock
first aid kit
Caring Child Epilepsy
Making Home Safe
epilepsy monitoring

WebMD Special Sections