Women with Epilepsy Program

Women with epilepsy face unique challenges in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of epilepsy. They should all receive a comprehensive evaluation with a physician trained in the treatment of women’s epilepsy. The Women’s Epilepsy Program at UI Health addresses the specific needs and concerns of women with epilepsy.

Dr. Anna Serafini

Dr. Anna Serafini, who has specialized training in women’s issues in epilepsy, runs the Women with Epilepsy Clinic at UI Health and can provide consultations or ongoing care. Consultations should include discussions on how hormonal changes that happen through all life, from puberty to menopause, can have an impact on seizures. Additionally, hormonal contraception can interact with certain antiseizure medications, affecting the efficacy of contraception itself. A significant number of women have catamenial epilepsy, or seizures that occur during certain phases of the menstrual cycle, therefore will need particular attention and specific treatment. It is also extremely important to discuss family planning and understand the potential effect of each patient’s anti-seizure medication on pregnancy. The goal is to find the perfect balance between choosing the best medication at the right dose to control their seizures while posing the most minimal risk to the developing baby. This requires a delicate balance that necessitates continued follow-up with our specialized physicians.

Dr. Serafini works closely with patients’ primary care physicians and OB/GYNs to provide comprehensive care for all women with epilepsy.

In the Women with Epilepsy Clinic, patients will receive counseling on:

  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Contraception
  • Fertility Treatments
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Newborn Care
  • Menopause
  • Hormone Replacement
  • Bone Health