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Study Sees Link Between Epilepsy, Infertility

Bloomberg Businessweek,  Oct 11, 2010
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Women with epilepsy may be at increased risk of infertility, a study of women from India suggests.

The study included 375 women who planned to have a child, average age 26, who were followed until they became pregnant or for up to 10 years. During the study period, 62 percent of the women became pregnant.

The rate of infertility among women with epilepsy was more than twice the 15 percent rate in the general population. Women taking three or more drugs for epilepsy were 18 times more likely to be infertile than those taking no epilepsy drugs -- 60 percent versus 7 percent. Infertility rates were 41 percent for women taking two epilepsy drugs and 32 percent for those taking one epilepsy drug, the study authors found.

"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," study author Sanjeev Thomas, of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Trivandrum, India, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

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