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Posted by Clare M. Schoenwald on August 01, 2000 at 08:00:24:

In Reply to: Re: Menstrual cycle & Epilepsy connection? posted by FK on June 02, 2000 at 19:30:06:

: : : : : : Has anyone ever heard of a connection between menstrual cycles and epilepsy. Both grand mal seizures I've had, I've been on my period.

: : : : : Answer yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

: : : : : When my menstrual cycle comes on if I do not take Primrose Oil, I will go into convulsions.
: : : : : Or almost go into them. I asked my doctor if there is a link between menstrual cyclyes and
: : : : : epilepsy and he said yes, but the study on it is so wide, that they do not study it, because it
: : : : : is such a broad field.

: : : : : Sincererly, Nancy

: I'd like to keep this going as it's an important topic. My seizures were under complete control for about 15 years, or until a few years ago in my 40's. I began having nocturnal seizures that gradually became more frequent (most months) and sometimes more severe. When I began tracking them, I realized they always occurred between 2 and 7 days prior to menstruation. I also realized I was beginning to experience peri-menopause. I started to read up on catamenial epilepsy and eventually learned that, because it is the estrogen/progesterone ratio that may trigger the seizures, it would be helpful to try natural progesterone. High estrogen to progesterone levels, which generally occur around the time of menses or shortly before, may excite seizure onsets. I just started this progesterone regimen a couple of months ago, and am impressed thus far. Although my neurologist was initially hesitant to believe that hormone levels were the cause of my seizures, when I brought him the data I had tracked along with data from various studies I had pulled up via the internet on various studies (some of which he was familiar with, and some he pooh-poohed), he at least acknowledged it could play a roll. Thus he referred me to a Gyn, and also recommended that I increase my dosage my AED around the time when I tend to get seizures. The only problem with the Gyn, which others will run into, is most are not familiar with the type of hormonal treatment needed for catamenial epilepsy, and most would not even consider recommending NATURAL progesterone. I recommend you check out different web sites on natural progesterone so you can compare it to possible hormones a Gyn may prescribe, and also check out web sites on catamenial epilepsy. You'll be enlightened. I was.

: : : : >>>I sure wish they would get in gear because I too seem to be developing problems concerning my period and my seizures. I think it has everthing to do with hormones. After having both my children, within 2 days I had grand-mals. Never had them before. I asked my neurologist at the time and my gyno about this hormonal connection and they just shrugged it off. From what I've learned the type of epilepsy where the seizures occur near your period is called Catamenial Epilepy.
: : : : Donna

: : : DONNA!!!

: : : I have Grand Mal seizures & am convinced that they are triggered or in conjuction with my period. My auro's (sp) are really strong at that time. In any case, I am on Tegretol & Klonopin. I want to get pregnant but am anyone out there going through this or has gone through it. LYNNE

: :
: : Donna, I have the same problem as you have. Also, from June 99 - Jan. 00, I didnt' have a
: : normal period. My would be spots and it seems as if my seizures began to get worse.
: : I developed bronchial pneumonia in Jan. and all of a sudden, I began to have normal periods,
: : as well, I've had two grand-mals since then. I don't normally have grand-mals but every
: : two-three years.
: : I began reading about catamenial epilepsy and it does seem to be what I have. It was
: : my gyneocologist that suggested that I keep record of my periods/seizures. Now, I'm
: : in my mid-40's, my seizures seem to be getting worse (especially due to stress, right now)
: : but it would be best that you see your gyneocologist. I don't have a gyneocologist near-by
: : I have a fantastic doctor and he has a female physician's assistant. The assistant looked up
: : the term, catamenial epilepsy, and she convinced him to prescribing me Premphase hormones.
: : They have managed to keep my periods on track for now, but it hasn't helped my seizures any
: : better. I still continue to take my epilepsy medication as prescribed. Hope this helps.
: : Many women do not realize to keep a chart of their seizures and periods when it's best to do.
: : Sheila

Hi Everyone, I don't think my problem is quite as severe as everyone elses, but it is just as confusing. I have seizures (or black out periods) that started about 4 years ago. I am 34 now and have never had them before. My doctor put me on Tegretol and it seemed to help the situation, but I was never really sure as I still have the seizures ocassionally. Oddly enough after doing some tracking of when they occur, I discovered that they happen a few days before each menstrual cycle. I have not talked with my doctor yet, because he seems like the kind that would scoff at this sort of information. Does anyone know of anyone in CT that specializes in this type of problem (as I have read "Catamenial Epilepsy". And, maybe some good websites to go to about progesterone therapy. I am tired of taking meds that may be useless.

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