Literature Review

Most Women With Epilepsy Seem to Favor Effective Contraceptive Methods

More than two thirds of patients use a method generally considered safe and effective but there’s no firm evidence to establish efficacy in this special population.


A cross-sectional data analysis derived from the Epilepsy Birth Control Registry recently found that among nearly 800 patients who were at risk for unintended pregnancy, 69.7% were using effective contraceptive methods, which included hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, tubal ligation, and vasectomy. Despite the high number of patients with epilepsy using what are generally considered highly effective forms of birth control, the efficacy of these methods in this population "remains to be proven" according to researchers from Columbia University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The analysis suggests that there is a need for evidence-based guidelines that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of various contraceptive methods in this special population.

Herzog AG, Mandle HB, Cahill KE, Fowler KM, Hauser WA, Davis AR. Contraceptive practices of women with epilepsy: Findings of the epilepsy birth control registry. Epilepsia. 2016;57(4):630-637.

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