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Menstrual disorders and their determinants among women with epilepsy

Authors Bosak M, Słowik A, Turaj W

Received 7 July 2018

Accepted for publication 30 August 2018

Published 10 October 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2657—2664

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S179438

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Magdalena Bosak, Agnieszka Słowik, Wojciech Turaj

Department of Neurology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Introduction:
The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence and determinants of menstrual cycle disorders among women with epilepsy.
Materials and methods: The study included consecutive women with epilepsy who visited a university epilepsy clinic. A number of variables, including demographics, characteristics of epilepsy and its treatment, and data related to reproductive health (regularity of menstrual cycle, number of pregnancies and childbirths), were collected from medical records, seizure diaries, and a dedicated questionnaire.
Results: The study involved 271 women with epilepsy. Focal epilepsy was diagnosed in 182 (67.2%) patients; 108 (39.8%) women had rare seizures (<1 per year), and 164 patients (60.5%) were on monotherapy. Menstrual abnormalities were found in 78 patients (28.8%). Independent variables associated with irregular cycle included younger age at onset of epilepsy (OR=0.95 per 1-year increase; P=0.008), current use of clonazepam (OR=5.36; P=0.010), and chronic use of medication(s) other than antiepileptic drug(s) (AEDs; OR=2.48; P=0.003). Childbirth rate was low in our cohort (0.50 per patient); independent predictors of being childless in studied patients included younger age, presence of menstrual disorders, and greater number of currently used AEDs.
Conclusion: Menstrual disturbances were present in 28.8% of studied women with epilepsy. Increased prevalence of menstrual abnormalities was associated with epilepsy itself (younger age at onset of epilepsy) and its treatment (ongoing use of clonazepam), as well as with chronic use of medications other than AEDs.

Keywords: menstrual disorders, medications, side effect, women, reproductive health

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