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Epilepsy, Fertility, and Birth Outcomes Examined

JAMA Neurology; ePub 2018 Apr 30; Pennell, et al

Women with epilepsy (WWE) 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, a recent study found. The Women With Epilepsy: Pregnancy Outcomes and Deliveries study, an observational cohort study comparing fertility in WWE with fertility in control women (CW) without epilepsy, enrolled participants at 4 academic medical centers. They were observed up to 21 months from November 2010 to May 2015. Women seeking pregnancy, aged 18 to 40 years, were enrolled within 6 months of discontinuing contraception. Researchers found:

  • Of the 197 women included in the study, 142 (72.1%) were white, and the mean (SD) age was 31.9 (3.5) years among the 89 WWE and 31.1 (4.2) among the 108 CW.
  • Among 89 WWE, 54 (60.7%) achieved pregnancy vs 65 (60.2%) among 108 CW.
  • Median time to pregnancy was no different between the groups after controlling for key covariates.
  • 44 of 54 pregnancies (81.5%) in WWE and 53 of 65 pregnancies (81.5%) in CW resulted in live births.

Citation:

Pennell PB, French JA, Harden CL, et al. Fertility and birth outcomes in women with epilepsy seeking pregnancy. [Published online ahead of print April 30, 2018]. JAMA Neurology. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0646.

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