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I am 24 now, and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was seventeen. In order to treat my symptoms, my doctor has me on Lamictal 500mg QD which I've been taking consistently for about 2 years. I am not on birth control due to the side effects I experience when I am on it.
I recently had a pregnancy scare that got me thinking, "what would happen if I had been pregnant for 5 weeks and was still taking my Lamictal?" I know that the first 8 weeks is critical in fetal development. Could anyone tell me what precautions I might take (in relation to the drug, not preventative measures) and what I could expect if this situation did occur?


I have been researching the interaction between birth control pills and Lamictal today as I missed a birth control pill and my psychiatrist told me that Lamictal lowers the effectiveness of birth control pills (however, I've read the opposite in everything online today stating BCPs lower the effectiveness of Lamictal!).

I DID read that there's a higher rate of birth defects if you are pregnant and taking Lamictal but you must ask yourself (and confer with your doctor) would your developing baby be better off if you were in better mental health staying on Lamictal. What if you were to have a manic episode while pregnant and do something very impulsive that may harm the health of your developing baby? And in general I have to wonder if problems in mood can have a very negative effect on a developing baby anyway.