Epileptic infertility

serious woman

Could epilepsy be influencing infertility? Apparently so. According to new data published by Neurology, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, epileptic women are more than twice as likely as the general population to experience problems conceiving.

The study was conducted in India and involved 375 26-year-old women who wanted to get pregnant and had an epilepsy diagnosis. The researchers tracked the women until they achieved pregnancy or for ten years. 62% of the women eventually became pregnant while 38% were unable to conceive. In India, the average infertility rate is 15% for women.

And it may not be the disease itself. The research reveals that women who take epilepsy drugs to treat their disease are more likely than those who don’t to be infertile. If a woman took three or more drugs to treat her illness, she was 18 times more likely to be infertile than the drug free women. “This may be due to the adverse effects of taking multiple drugs or it could be a more indirect effect because people who are taking multiple drugs are more likely to have severe epilepsy that is difficult to treat,” reminded study author Sanjeev Thomas, DM, of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Trivandrum, India.

Women who took Phenobarbital had a significant risk of infertility, but other drugs, including Valproate, not so directly linked to the infertility.

Most women became pregnant within the first two years of the study launch. “Based on these findings, women with epilepsy should be counseled about the potential risk of infertility and referred for an evaluation if they have not conceived within two years,” said editorial author Alison Pack, MD of Columbia University.

Source: American Academy of Neurology, ScienceDaily


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