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Epilepsy Does Not Appear to Affect Likelihood of Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, May 2, 2018 -- Women with epilepsy and no history of infertility have a similar likelihood of achieving pregnancy as peers without epilepsy, according to a study published online April 30 in JAMA Neurology.

Page B. Pennell, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from 89 women with epilepsy and 108 controls without epilepsy in the Women With Epilepsy: Pregnancy Outcomes and Deliveries study. The women were seeking pregnancy between ages 18 and 40 years and were enrolled in the study within six months of discontinuing contraception. The researchers assessed whether the likelihood of achieving pregnancy is biologically reduced in women with epilepsy compared with their peers.

The researchers found that 60.7 percent of the women with epilepsy and 60.2 percent of the control women achieved pregnancy within 12 months after enrollment. There was no difference in median time to pregnancy between the groups (six versus nine months; P = 0.3) after the researchers controlled for key covariates. Furthermore, sexual activity and ovulatory rates were similar between the groups, and the percentage of live births was 81.5 percent in both groups.

"Women with epilepsy seeking pregnancy without prior known infertility or related disorders have similar likelihood of achieving pregnancy, time to pregnancy, and live birth rates compared with their peers without epilepsy," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: May 2018

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