Ovulatory Function in Epilepsy
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2005
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 355–359, April 1995
How to Cite
Cummings, L. N., Giudice, L. and Morrell, M. J. (1995), Ovulatory Function in Epilepsy. Epilepsia, 36: 355–359. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1995.tb01009.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2005
- Received April 28, 1994; revision accepted August 26, 1994.
- Partial epilepsy;
- Temporal lobe;
- Primary generalized;
Summary Women with epilepsy have lower fertility rates than women without epilepsy. We hypothesized that limbic dysfunction in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) alters the release of hypothalamic trophic hormones that secondarily affect release of the pituitary gonadotropins, causing ovulatory failure. We assessed ovulatory function over three consecutive menstrual cycles in 17 women with partial seizures arising from the temporal lobe (TLE), 7 women with primary generalized epilepsy (PGE), and 12 controls. We devised scores to reflect ovulatory function that were based on daily basal body tem perature and monthly serum progesterone levels. Seizure frequency, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), and depressive symptomatology were also evaluated. Anovulation was more frequent in subjects with TLE (35.3%) than in subjects with PGE (0%) or in controls (8.3%). Anovulatory cycles tended to occur more frequently in subjects with TLE who were treated with polytherapy than in those receiving monotherapy, but this result was not statistically significant. Seizure frequency and symptoms of depression did not affect ovulatory function. Although AED polytherapy may increase the likelihood of anovulation, our results suggest a mechanism of infertility related to temporal lobe dysfunction.