Contraceptive use in women with epilepsy

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  • Contraceptive use in women in epilepsy is important to have a planned pregnancy
  • WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use states that all methods of contraception can be used safely in women with epilepsy
  • But it is better to avoid hormonal contraceptives in them as anti epileptic drugs like phenobarbital, phenytoin and carbamazepine are enzyme inducers
  • They increase the rate of degradation of these hormones and result in high risk of contraceptive failure
  • This risk is greater in newer generation of oral contraceptive pills as they contain low quantities of hormones in view of better side effect profile
  • So hormonal contraception is better avoided in women taking anti epileptic drugs


Park’s textbook of preventive and social medicine, 20th edition, p432
Neurological Disorders and Pregnancy By Alireza Minagar
Neurologic disease in women By Peter W. Kaplan

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