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Are women with epilepsy using effective contraception?

In the largest study of contraceptive practices of women with epilepsy, 30% did not use highly effective contraception despite being at higher risk of having children with fetal malformations due to the anti-epilepsy medications they take.

The study also found that almost one-half of the women used hormonal contraception, which is considered highly effective but has yet to be proven so in women with epilepsy.

Women who were insured, Caucasian, and older were more likely to use highly effective contraception, and only about one-quarter of the women consulted their neurologist in selecting contraception, according to Dr. Andrew Herzog, lead author of the Epilepsia article.

Research: Contraceptive practices of women with epilepsy: Findings of the epilepsy birth control registry, Herzog, A. G., Mandle, H. B., Cahill, K. E., Fowler, K. M., Hauser, W. A. and Davis, A. R., Epilepsia, doi: 10.1111/epi.13320, published online 15 February 2016.