Seizure exacerbation and hormonal cycles in women with epilepsy

Geon Ha Kim, Hyang Woon Lee, Hyesook Park, Sang Kun Lee, Sang Ahm Lee, Yeong In Kim, Hong Ki Song, Dong Jin Shin, Seung Bong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate seizure frequency in relation to menstrual cycles and seizure exacerbations with respect to various clinical factors in women with epilepsy. Methods: The authors prospectively evaluated premenopausal women with epilepsy aged 15-44. Catamenial epilepsy was defined as seizure frequency during the perimenstrual (C1), periovulatory (C2) or non-menstrual phase (C3) at least twice that during other phases. Results: In total 255 menstrual cycles, 231 ovulatory and 24 anovulatory cycles were registered in 79 patients (29.7 ± 7.8 years old). Average seizure frequency was 0.13 ± 0.29/day during the menstrual phase, 0.14 ± 0.24 during the follicular, 0.18 ± 0.61 in the ovulatory, and 0.14 ± 0.33 during the luteal phases. Catamenial seizure exacerbation was observed in 37/79 (46.8%) patients and 108/255 (42.4%) cycles, more frequently during anovulatory (17/24, 70.8%) than ovulatory (91/231, 39.4%) cycles (p=0.003). During ovulatory cycles, seizure exacerbation was primarily C1 (42.9%) or C2 (45.1%) pattern. Myoclonic seizures were more frequently associated with the C1 pattern. Conclusions: Overall, 46.8% of women had catamenial epilepsy. Seizure frequencies were greater during menstrual and ovulatory phases for ovulatory cycles, and during non-menstrual phases for anovulatory cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Seung Bong Hong was supported by a Grant (2009K001257) from Brain Research Center of the 21st Century Frontier Research Program funded by the Ministry of Science, Republic of Korea.

Funding Information:
Hyang Woon Lee was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2009-007-2164 and NRF-2009-006-5721), and by the Ewha Medical Research Institute.


  • Anovulatory
  • Catamenial epilepsy
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Ovulatory
  • Women with epilepsy


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