Obstetric outcome in women with epilepsy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Jul 1;152(5):499-504. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(85)90615-5.


A comparison of 150 pregnancies in women with epilepsy and 150 pregnancies in matched nonepileptic control women showed similar rates of pregnancy-induced hypertension, albuminuria, premature contractions, premature labor, and bleeding in pregnancy. Duration of labor, blood loss at delivery, cesarean section rates, and vacuum extraction rates were also similar among epileptic and control groups. There were five perinatal deaths in the epileptic group and two in the control group. A fetal heart rate tracing during a maternal grand mal seizure showed bradycardia, reduced short-term and long-term variability, and late decelerations suggesting asphyxia. It is concluded that grand mal seizures during pregnancy should be avoided by the use of antiepileptic drugs. Women with epilepsy require antenatal neurological and obstetric follow-up during pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Epilepsy* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Fetal Death
  • Fetal Heart
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anticonvulsants