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Multiple Ovarian Cysts in a Woman with Epilepsy 

Multiple Ovarian Cysts in a Woman with Epilepsy
Multiple Ovarian Cysts in a Woman with Epilepsy

M. Angela O’Neal

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date: 26 January 2022

This chapter explores how epilepsy can affect reproductive function. The National Institute of Health consensus definition of PCOS includes the presence of menstrual dysfunction, clinical evidence of hyperandrogenism, and exclusion of other endocrinopathies, such as Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism. The etiology of PCOS is felt to be heterogenous, related to a complex interaction between both genetic and environmental factors. PCOS develops when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive testosterone. The diagnosis and pathogenesis of polycystic ovarian syndrome is explored; in particular, how valproate contributes to the condition in women with epilepsy. Valproate is the AED most associated with PCOS, as it can directly increase ovarian testosterone production. It can also cause weight gain leading to insulin resistance, another mechanism contributing to PCOS.

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