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Epilepsy and Infertility - How are they related?

Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 9:51 PM

How Epilepsy Affects FertilityResearchers at the National Center for Epilepsy have determined through research that certain drugs used for the treatment of epilepsy may reduce fertility and lead to the development of other sexual disorders. The study examined the effects of patients who stopped using two common epilepsy drugs, carbamazepine and valproate. Both of these drugs are prescribed for a variety of ailments, including but not limited to epilepsy, mood stabilization and anti-convulsant.

Researchers conducting the study determined that patients taking these medications experienced a decreased level of fertility and patients also were more likely to experience reproductive endocrine disorders regardless of sex. Fortunately, the study also determined that the decrease infertility and increase in endocrine disorders were not necessarily permanent. The research for this study showed that once patients discontinued use of these medications, their sexual function and reproductive health was likely to return to normal.

The findings do raise some rather alarming questions about the safety of epilepsy treatments and their potentially negative effects on the reproductive system of both men and women. While it is promising that many of the patient’s fertility and reproductive systems returned to normal after they discontinued the use of these drugs it is still a disconcerting fact for patients who wish to conceive.

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