genetic advice

Last reviewed 01/2018

If there is only one parent affected then the chance of having a child who is affected by epilepsy is about 3%. The risk is lower if the epilepsy is focal or structural, and higher if the epilepsy is idiopathic or generalized. However even in the latter cases the risk is still less than 5%. There is an increased incidence of congenital malformation in babies born to an epileptic parent (s) (2.5 - 7.5%).

Note that it is important that epileptic mothers continue to take their medication during pregnancy. The risk to pregnancy is greater from uncontrolled epilepsy than the small teratogenic potential of treatment.