Women with Epilepsy Likely to Face Fertility Problems Doctors Say

October 13th, 2010
Women with Epilepsy Likely to Face Fertility Problems Doctors Say

The results of research carried out at the Sree Chitra Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Trivandrum, India confirm that there is a connection between epileptic women and infertility.

According to one representative of the Sree Chitra Institute, this could be the first time that it has been demonstrated that epileptic women who intend to become pregnant may experience an increased risk of infertility.

Although it remains true that past studies have found that women with epilepsy have below average pregnancy rates, it was suggested that lower marriage rates or personal decisions of the women to not have children could explain the connection. Now, doctors have solidified a link as a result of the illness, based on the findings of a 375 person case study in which participants were followed for three to 10 years. During the study period, 38 percent of the women failed to conceive.

No control group of women without epilepsy was available to researchers, however. According to institute researchers, the result of the case study suggest that epilepsy that is drawn over a longer period of time and requires treatment with multiple anti-epileptic drugs is associated with increased infertility risk.

Over the course of the study, patients with a milder form of epilepsy, only requiring one drug for treatment, successfully became pregnant.

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