Epilepsy and male infertility


Patients Epilepsy

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Whilst alot is discussed regarding the safety of and dangers of epilepsy drugs such as Sodium Valproate, also known as Epilim, there is,  sadly very little research carried out on male health, in particular in the context of Men who have had epilepsy since birth.  I have had epilepsy almost 41 years now, and 6 years ago,  was diagnosed as being infertile after 2 years trying for a baby with no success. I had a feeling it was my epilepsy or medicine.

Some men have a low sperm count and IVF can help. I am clinically diagnosed with Azoospermia,  (absence of sperm). I was devastated and it is very upsetting as I always take and on the box it has a danger warning to women with epilepsy. 

I don't want to downplay such risks to them but am sad that Drs are not looking at male factor.

I have come to terms with childlessness, as I have a challenging relationship with my wife, due to my poor cognitive impairments,  e.g difficulties with understanding and remembering.  My wife is understanding but gets frustrated quite often, as she is the only one working now.

Adoption was something we considered,  but with an intractable relationship I don't think adopting will be the answer to our problems.  It would bring more problems,  as my wife would have to prioritise the child.

Not being selfish but I have played with other family members children and enjoyed them as my own,  but after a while,  run out of ideas to preoccupy them and deal with their crying, if it's a toddler.

I doubt I could offer such support given that I am not financially independent.  I'm relying n government welfare and am trying to sell online. I'm not making much though.

Beginning of the discussion - 16/06/2021

Epilepsy and male infertility

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Posted on

@Sunshine5‍... Thank you for sharing your views and personal life of having epilepsy and male infertility. Your comments are interesting. 

I've had epilepsy for 47 years now and had a full hysterectomy in my early 30's. I am now 63 years of age. I went the other route and made a decision not to have children, trying to look at the logical perspective of injury to the child if I dropped it in the event of a seizure. At that stage, I was divorced and remarried, but had not had children from my 1st marriage either. My ex husband could not accept my epilepsy, thus the break up after only 4 years. My 2nd husband had grown up children from his 1st marriage already. 

Making the decision not to have was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life. I have spent many hours contemplating whether I made the right choice, but looking back at it now I am glad I did. 

I have always loved children and enjoy their company, am an Aunt to many nieces and nephews who now have their own children, and will always be kind to any child I come into contact with. 

I understand your thoughts so well, and see it from both sides, ie yours and your wife's but as you say, I don't think adoption is the right choice either. My husband is now on a minimal pension and I rely on him greatly due to my epilepsy also, together with lack of income. 

We always read articles on women with epilepsy and how pregnancy affects them, but seldom see it from a male's perspective. 

Epilepsy and male infertility

Posted on

Hi Lesmal

Thank you for providing me an insight to your epilepsy and not having children. 

I have come to terms with not having it and with my wife working part time and me not in work,  adopting would still be unworkable. 

My wife gets frustrated quite often and I listen yet when I express how I feel , she says I'm being too sensitive and can't take things lightly.

I feel at 40, I've got in theory, another 30 years left unless I die of SUDEP, CO-VID or prematurely. But we have drifted quite abit. I have given her the option to divorce me but she refuses. 

Counselling has not helped as my wife doesn't believe it will make a change. But I have had it alone.

Epilepsy and male infertility

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Posted on

@Sunshine5‍ ... Thank you for your response. 

I understand the frustration your wife may feel, but also see it from your point of view. I also understand the distancing from one another, as I had this with my ex-husband when he did a night shift and I worked during the daytime. We never saw each other, and basically, he couldn't take living with my epilepsy, accidents from cooking, etc., and more.

We both tried counselling for a short while after we split and got back together, but it didn't work for us. 

Keep strong and know that living with epilepsy is hard enough, without all the other difficult decisions that have to be made whilst living with it. I miss my driving a lot as I haven't driven since the age of 17 after having a seizure, but then I know we have a good public transport system here which helps! 

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