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Survey shows epilepsy care failing women

Women think epilepsy services are inadequate and want clearer more relevant information to prepare themselves for pregnancy and the menopause, a survey shows.

The women surveyed said that national standards of epilepsy treatment fall short of NICE guidelines.

This includes provision of advice on the onset of puberty, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, the menopause and hormone replacement therapy.

The survey revealed that two thirds of women with epilepsy who were pregnant or had already had a baby were not offered joint care by an epilepsy specialist nurse and midwife.

Another 69% of women were not offered advice about taking anti-epileptic drugs when breastfeeding

Over three quarters of women were not given information regarding epilepsy and its relationship with the menopause an HRT.

Nicole Crosby McKenna, Epilepsy's "It's clear from the results of the survey that women are ready and willing to take action to improve their quality of life by effectively managing their condition.

"Their only 'ask' is that epilepsy care services raise their standards and meet them half way, so that they at least stand a chance of achieving this goal. Only then will women's ideal vision for the future become a reality."

Epilepsy Action
Related feature: Managing epilepsy in primary care

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