Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyEpilepsyTeam

Study Debunks Idea That Epilepsy Can Hamper Fertility

Posted on November 29, 2018

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Having epilepsy doesn't appear to lower a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, new research finds.

"Our paper is a myth-buster," said study author Dr. Page Pennell, director of research in the division of epilepsy at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"When I entered this specialty, there were a lot of myths and stigma about women living with epilepsy," Pennell said in a hospital news release. "A couple of decades ago, women with epilepsy were discouraged from getting pregnant because it was considered risky."

Epilepsy is a neurological condition marked by seizures, loss of awareness and other health problems.

"Today, we know so much more and have safer medications to help women with epilepsy have a healthy pregnancy. But myths about fertility rates remain. We wanted to evaluate those rates, specifically among women who desired to become pregnant," Pennell said.

The study included 89 women with epilepsy and 108 women without epilepsy who were trying to conceive. The women had no known history of infertility disorders.

Within a year, 60.7 percent of the women with epilepsy and 60.2 percent of the women without epilepsy became pregnant. Both groups took a similar time to conceive and had similar rates of miscarriage and live birth.

Worldwide, about 12.5 million women of childbearing age have epilepsy. Previous studies have found women with epilepsy have lower birth rates than those without epilepsy, but that could be due to fewer women with epilepsy seeking to become pregnant, the researchers said.

Neurologists should talk with female patients of childbearing age "about their plans for starting a family and about effective contraception until then," Pennell suggested.

"Our study indicates that most women with epilepsy have normal fertility rates, so planning ahead, adjusting medications and prescribing vitamins is essential for women with epilepsy throughout their reproductive years," Pennell said.


The study was published April 30 in the journal JAMA Neurology.
SOURCE: Brigham and Women's Hospital


Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.

Here are some conversations from MyEpilepsyTeam:

"My husband and I want to start trying to conceive. Even though I have been given the go-ahead by my neurologist and OB, I am still nervous."

"Ecstatic obviously but worried about what my meds might do to my Bub. Looking for experiences from other women who have had babies while on AED's???"

"I happy to announce that I'm expecting a baby boy in January 😊. I'm still in shock after being told for years that I could not conceive anymore."

Did you experience any issues with fertility while managing your epilepsy? Share in the comments below or directly on MyEpilepsyTeam.

A MyEpilepsyTeam Member said:

Depends on which medicine you are on. I had 2 successful births on tegretol. A miscarriage on depacote.

posted 29 days ago

hug (2)

Recent articles

Myepilepsyteam carousel why did terms for seizures change
Article written by Mary K. Talbot In 2017, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)...

Why Did Terms for Seizures Change?

Article written by Mary K. Talbot In 2017, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)...
Myepilepsyteam carousel types of focal seizures
Article written by Jessica Wolpert About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, but for...

Types of Focal Seizures

Article written by Jessica Wolpert About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, but for...
Myepilepsyteam carousel treatment for focal seizures
Article written by Nyaka MwanzaFocal seizures begin in one hemisphere (side) of the...

Treatments for Focal Seizures

Article written by Nyaka MwanzaFocal seizures begin in one hemisphere (side) of the...
Mht myepilepsyteam dlgs carousel
Article written by Mary K. Talbot Your child has been having prolonged seizures. You’ve been...

Getting the Best Care for Your Child with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: A Parent’s Guide

Article written by Mary K. Talbot Your child has been having prolonged seizures. You’ve been...
Mht myepilepsyteam dravetsyndrome article1 carousel
Article written by Laurie Berger One in every 20,000 to 40,000 children has Dravet...

Dravet Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Article written by Laurie Berger One in every 20,000 to 40,000 children has Dravet...
Mht myepilepsyteam lennoxgsyndrome article1 carousel
Article written by Laurie Berger Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe form of epilepsy with...

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Article written by Laurie Berger Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe form of epilepsy with...
Coronavirus
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Those of us living with pre-existing health conditions like...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Epilepsy

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Those of us living with pre-existing health conditions like...
Sudden death risk in epilepsy can wane over time
"This analysis shows that there is hope. If you're low-risk, you're likely to stay that way. If...

Sudden Death Risk in Epilepsy Can Wane Over Time

"This analysis shows that there is hope. If you're low-risk, you're likely to stay that way. If...
Mht ad causesofseizuresandepilepsy thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Epilepsy is a spectrum of neurological disorders involving...

Causes of Seizures and Epilepsy

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Epilepsy is a spectrum of neurological disorders involving...
Mht ad overview thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Epilepsy is not one single condition. Epilepsy is defined as a...

Epilepsy – An Overview

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Epilepsy is not one single condition. Epilepsy is defined as a...
MyEpilepsyTeam My epilepsy Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyEpilepsyTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with epilepsy. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about epilepsy sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyEpilepsyTeam My epilepsy Team

Thank you for signing up.

close