October 15, 2018

Unplanned Pregnancy May Double Miscarriage Risk in Epilepsy Patients

The rate of miscarriage was doubled in women with epilepsy whose pregnancies were unplanned, a survey of Epilepsy Birth Control Registry participants found.

Among women with epilepsy, spontaneous fetal loss occurred in 35% of unplanned versus 16% of planned pregnancies, reported Andrew Herzog, MD, MSc, of Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues in JAMA Neurology.

“This is important because unplanned pregnancy is very common among women with epilepsy, more common than in the general population,” Herzog told MedPage Today.

About 65% of pregnancies in women with epilepsy are unplanned, despite epilepsy practice guidelines that suggest these women “plan pregnancies to occur when they have achieved optimal seizure control on the minimum effective dosage of antiepileptic drugs and take folic acid supplement before conception to achieve optimal maternal and fetal outcomes,” Herzog added.

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