Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Problems related to pregnancy and birth defects in the baby are major concerns for women with epilepsy. Hardly any data from this country is available in this regards to provide factual information to people with epilepsy. This study was undertaken to survey the outcome of pregnancies in women with epilepsy in this part of the country. Women with epilepsy (20to55 year of age) who had attended this institute between March 1997 and march 1997 were sent a questionnaire by post regarding their martial status, reproductive history and outcome of pregnancies including any birth defects in their children. The data on clinical aspects and treatment were extracted from their medical records. 184 women (mean age 28.5 + 8 years) were included in this study. 108 (58.7%) of them were married. Women with epilepsy had three times higher rate of abortions (24.1%) than general population(8%). Their mean family size (1.6) was lower than that is Kerala State (2.3). The proportion of women without children (13.9%) was also higher than that for the state (9.8%). The frequency of birth defects among their children was twice (4%) that in the community (2%). Women taking sodium valproate had higher frequency of birth defects in their children (15%) as compared to other drugs but this was not statistically significant. There is a tendency for lower fertility among women with epilepsy. There is a slight increase in the frequency of birth defects among children born to mothers with epilepsy.