Antiepileptic Drugs and Becoming Pregnant

  • MJ Eadie
  • FJE Vajda


There is published evidence that intake of antiepileptic drugs may affect the possibility of a woman becoming pregnant. Use of the drugs in her male partner may tend to decrease his libido and sexual activity, thus diminishing the chances of pregnancy occurring. A similar effect on libido may occur in the woman being treated with antiepileptic drugs, and the treatment may be responsible for circulating sex hormone concentration alterations that result in menstrual disturbances, this combination of effects tending to lessen fertility. Taking antiepileptic drugs in the non-pregnant state, particularly the older agents that induce formation of enzymes that catalyse the metabolism of steroidal sex hormones, also tends to decrease the circulating concentrations of steroidal hormones used for contraceptive purposes. This effect may increase the chances of undesired pregnancies occurring.


Antiepileptic Drug Polycystic Ovary Premature Ovarian Failure Ethinyl Oestradiol Male Control Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • MJ Eadie
    • 1
  • FJE Vajda
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinical Neurology and NeuropharmacologyUniversity of Queensland, and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and Neurology Director of the Australian Epilepsy and Pregnancy RegisterUniversity of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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