Background and aim: Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in pregnancy, which is associated with increased maternal and fetal adverse outcomes. This study aimed to explore the reproductive healthcare needs of women with epilepsy before, during and after childbirth. 
Methods: This was a qualitative study using a content analysis method. The study population was marital women with epilepsy in reproductive age (15-45 years) referred to Imam Hossein Hospital, Tehran, Iran. Participants were 16 women chosen using purposive sampling with the consideration of maximum variation in sampling. Semi-structured interviews were held with the participants until data saturation was reached. The data were analyzed using the content analysis method. The MAXQDA software, version 2010, was used for the management of data.
Results: The data analysis led to the development of two categories. The first one is named ‘resilience against threats to safe pregnancy’ and has the following subcategories: (1) real physical complications and perceived (mental) conditions due to unwanted pregnancies, (2) the predisposing factors of anxiety related to safe pregnancy, (3) perceived consequences of pregnancy’, and (4) the approach to encounter perceived consequences of pregnancy. The second category is called ‘adverse experiences under inefficient supportive systems’ and has the following subcategories: (1) the insufficiency of reproductive healthcare services for women with epilepsy, (2) doubt about the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding, (3) stigma as a block to the treatment of the postpartum depression, and (4) playing the motherhood role under the shadow of self-esteem to lack of self-esteem.
Conclusion: In the prenatal, natal and postnatal duration, because of supportive system disruption and not receiving proper consultation, participants were often worried about not being able to get favorable conditions for safe pregnancy and controlling process of their pregnancy. Therefore, they often experienced unwanted pregnancy. They were also concerned about the adverse fetal outcomes. In postpartum period, they often experienced postpartum depression and were very doubtful about breastfeeding.


Keywords: Epilepsy, Pregnancy outcomes, Reproductive health, Need assessment


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