British Epilepsy Association Campaign For Young People
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects 0.5-1 per cent of the population (420,000 people) of which roughly half are women. The majority (75%) of people with epilepsy have their first seizure before the age of 20. Puberty can trigger epilepsy, and often seizure type and seizure control changes at this time.
The basic issues are that some epilepsy treatments can;
- Interfere with hormones, affecting sexual health and
- Interact with the oral contraceptive pill, increasing the
risk of unplanned pregnancy
- Can be harmful to the unborn child so family planning is
- Cause cosmetic side effects such as weight gain, coarsening
of the facial features, gingivitis, acne, hair loss/growth
- Cause drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and forgetfulness
andtherefore affect school work (these effects are often made worse by
By making teenagers aware of the issues, BEA hopes to encourage dialogue between them and their doctors / nurses so that treatment side effects can be minimised and teenagers can get on with their lives!
All the information you need to know is on the site and you can browse through the various topics in private and request more information/ factsheets via the free helpline or send your question to the epilepsy nurse to answer. You can also get in touch with other teenagers with epilepsy via the chat facility and there are 'Real life' stories by people with epilepsy available to read.