Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Can epilepsy medication affect male fertility? Yes and no. While it is not proven that any particular seizure medication affects fertility, a male who is taking it can experience problems with erections and premature ejaculation. In general, epilepsy medications decrease libido, and this decreases the chance of conceiving. In males, impotence can be cured with sildenafil, a drug sold under the brand name Viagra. If depression is the cause of the problem, however, there are treatment options available for this disorder.
Men with temporal lobe epilepsy
There are several possible mechanisms through which men with temporal lobe epilepsy may affect their male fertility. These mechanisms include disruption of the pulsatile secretion of GnRH in the hypothalamus, reduced follicle stimulation in the pituitary gland, and impaired release of lutenizing and follicle-stimulating hormones. These hormones influence the production and function of sperm in men and also affect the secondary sex characteristics of men. These hormones act on the Sertoli and Leydig cells that direct sperm production in men. Men with epilepsy have lower sperm concentrations and morphologically abnormal sperm compared to healthy controls.
This can mean males with epilepsy are at a higher risk of infertility than the general population. Epilepsy medication can decrease sperm production, although it is rare for men to develop a sex disorder while on an epilepsy medication. Sexual dysfunction is also a side effect of AEDs. While these medications are not a cause of infertility, changing them may improve sex life.
A recent study found that men with epilepsy had lower male fertility than healthy controls. It is unclear if this is due to epileptic activity or to a negative impact on sexual function from AEDs. The study recruited only men with generalized tonic-clonic seizures, excluding those with focal epilepsy. Men with epilepsy are less likely to get married and to have children, but if this is true, the risks outweigh the positive effects of a low rate of infertility.
The best way to determine whether men with temporal lobe epilepsy have a low bone density is to undergo a DEXA scan. This test doesn't use needles and provides bone scores. Your T score will compare your bones with women who are at their peak bone mass. In addition, your physician will use slides to give you more information about the condition and your reproductive abilities.
Another study shows that men with temporal lobe epilepsy are at higher risk for infertility than healthy individuals. These results suggest that men with epilepsy have lower chances of becoming fertile. However, despite the potential risks, these men may not be able to conceive after all. It is still too early to determine whether men with epilepsy will be infertile in the future.
Men with sodium valproate
The question is, can men with epilepsy medications such as Sodium Valproate affect male fertility? Experts say it's possible, and two recent cases demonstrate this. In both cases, the male patients stopped taking Valproate and were able to conceive. Despite this, it's not clear how long valproate use affects male fertility. There are several potential pathways by which it may affect male fertility.
One possible explanation for how epilepsy medications may affect fertility is through their effect on the hypothalamus, which is connected to the temporolimbic system. The temporolimbic system influences the release of sex hormones, and uncontrolled seizures can affect this area of the brain. Animal studies have also confirmed this relationship. In animals, men suffering from simulated focal amygdaloid seizures have lower sex hormone levels.
While the potential impact of valproate on the reproductive system is uncertain, other epilepsy medications, including levetiracetam, are believed to affect male fertility. The current study is the first human study to compare the effects of valproate and levetiracetam on male fertility. These drugs are frequently prescribed for men with epilepsy who are of reproductive age.
In addition to decreased libido, men with epilepsy are more likely to experience difficulty getting an erection. Interestingly, this problem is not linked to serum hormone levels, which is another common side effect of the medication. It's important to seek medical attention for men suffering from epilepsy if you suspect a partner might be having sex problems.
Although the risks are similar to those associated with other AEDs, there are more specific risks with sodium valproate. For example, a woman who has epilepsy should use effective contraception when taking sodium valproate to prevent pregnancy. If she is pregnant while taking this medication, she should consult a doctor immediately. The risk of pregnancy with this drug is very low, but women with epilepsy should seek advice from a specialist before becoming pregnant. Sodium valproate is usually taken once or twice a day. It is usually taken either with or without food.
Men with carbamazepine
People who suffer from partial onset epilepsy may find it difficult to conceive. While many men with epilepsy can father healthy children, some of the medications that these men take may affect male fertility. In rare cases, epilepsy medication may interfere with sperm production, but a simple change in medications can improve sexual function and increase sperm count.
Epilepsy and anti-epileptic medications can reduce sperm quality. Anti-seizure drugs like valproate may affect male fertility, but the exact mechanism of action is not clear. One possible pathway is altered concentration of the sex hormones and oxidative stress. Another pathway affects the mitochondria and gonads.
Epilepsy medications, such as carbamazepine, can lower testosterone in the blood. Because of this, men with epilepsy may experience lowered libido or other problems in their sex lives. Low testosterone may result in decreased sexual interest or difficulty getting aroused. These issues can affect male fertility. Men with epilepsy medication may also experience other side effects, including reduced bone strength.
Carbamazepine and sodium valproate have a potential negative effect on sperm function. Carbamazepine and sodium valproate were both associated with lower testosterone levels and a significant decrease in FSH levels in men. In the same study, however, carbamazepine was more likely to impact male fertility.
Carbamazepine and epilepsy medications do not significantly decrease fertility, but they may interfere with the reproductive function of both men and women. These medications may lower libido, making it difficult to conceive. Moreover, epilepsy medication can interfere with the male's ability to maintain an erection and may result in premature ejaculation.
In one study, patients taking VPA had a lower sperm motility and morphology, which were associated with infertility. Eventually, the men stopped the VPA treatment and conceived. These cases highlight the potential negative impact of VPA on male fertility. However, it is unclear whether VPA will affect fertility in all men. The study does note that some men who take VPA or levetiracetam for epilepsy may experience reduced sperm motility or morphology.
Men with levetiratcetam
Studies have shown that men on antiepileptic drugs such as levetiratcetam or valproate experience impaired fertility. This may be due to the adverse effects of these drugs on the male reproductive system, but other factors may also be involved. In one study, male patients treated with levetiratcetam and valproate experienced a lower sperm count than controls. The results suggest that this may be related to the social stigma and anxiety associated with epilepsy.
The effects of epilepsy medications on the reproductive system are unknown, but research has shown that the condition significantly reduces fertility in men, with the most common symptoms including reduced potency, decreased sperm count, and hyposexuality. While it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between epilepsy and decreased fertility, some studies have suggested an association between the two. However, these studies are limited in their findings and do not include men who were previously diagnosed with epilepsy.
The full spectrum of effects of antiepileptic drugs on male fertility are unknown, but several studies have suggested that these medications may cause reproductive endocrine dysfunction. However, this is not conclusive. In a separate study, males with epilepsy were examined for sexual dysfunction and sperm quality and levels of sex hormones. Although the results are not conclusive, it is clear that this is an area that warrants more study.
In a study of 228 male epilepsy patients on OXC, the results showed that the treatment improved sexual function in one-third of patients. The remaining 23 patients did not experience worsening sexual function. Furthermore, patients who had previously used enzyme-inducing AEDs showed the greatest improvement. The results of this study also suggested that these drugs may improve fertility in MWE.
The effects of levetiratcetam and epilepsy medications on male fertility were similar in the study carried out by Xiaotian et al. However, there are few studies that have been conducted over long periods, so it is not possible to draw any conclusions about their overall effects on male fertility. It may be beneficial to seek counseling from an appropriate medical professional about the risks of decreased fertility in men taking levetiratcetam and epilepsy medications.