Epileptic Women Provided More Information Concerning Reproduction
Research collected over a thirty-year span has given physicians better insight into the effects epileptic drugs have on women's contraception, pregnancy, and breast feeding.
"The issues are complex for the more than one million women with epilepsy in the United States," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, a neurologist at the University of Toronto that co-authored new guidelines for physicians that treat epileptic women, with the American Academy of Neurology.
Women who suffer from epilepsy face higher rates of infertility. In addition, the anti-seizure medications used to treat their epileptic seizures often lower the effectiveness of birth control pills, raise the risk of certain birth defects, and can be transmitted to their babies through breast milk.
The report warned that, while anti-epileptic drugs increase the chance of birth defects, the occurrence of seizures could also injure or even kill the mother and fetus.
"Even given (their) reduced effectiveness (when taken with certain anti-seizure drugs) oral contraceptives are still as effective as IUDs and more effective than barrier methods such as condoms," Zahn stated at a press conference on the report. She also added that most epileptic women who become pregnant "will have successful pregnancies and healthy babies."
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .