Reproductive hormonal changes and catamenial pattern in adolescent females with epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2008 Sep;49(9):1619-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01622.x. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


Purpose: We aimed to evaluate the effect of epilepsy on the reproductive hormones levels among female patients, and to investigate the frequency of catamenial pattern of seizures.

Methods: A total of 42 female patients with epilepsy and 21 healthy females (control group) were included. Subjects were at least 2 years postmenarche with regular cycles. Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were assessed using calendar of premenstrual experience scoring. Patients were evaluated for catamenial pattern of seizures. Levels of FSH, LH, estradiol (E), and progesterone (P) were assessed for all subjects in the three phases of the cycles. Pelvi-abdominal ultrasound was performed near time of ovulation, to follow up size of mature follicle.

Results: Symptoms of PMS were not different in patients and controls, or in patients with and those without catamenial tendency. In both perimenstrual (M) and midluteal phases, FSH and P levels were lower and E/P ratio higher in patients group. There was a catamenial pattern of seizures in 31% of patients (53.8% M C(1); 46.15% inadequate luteal phase C(3)pattern). Patients with C(3)pattern showed lower P levels in the midluteal phase compared to patients with noncatamenial pattern, to those with C(1)pattern or to controls. Patients with C(1)pattern had lower P levels than controls in the M phase.

Conclusion: There was evident disruption in the reproductive hormones in female patients with epilepsy with lower FSH and P levels and higher E/P ratio. A total of 31% of patients showed catamenial pattern of seizures (C(1)and C(3)patterns) that was significantly related to P withdrawal.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Estradiol / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / physiology*
  • Progesterone / physiology*
  • Reproduction


  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone