A few studies have indicated an increased risk of epilepsy in children conceived by fertility treatment possibly due to characteristics of the infertile couple rather than the treatment. We therefore aimed to investigate the association between parental infertility, fertility treatment, and epilepsy in the offspring, including the subtypes of epilepsy; idiopathic generalised epilepsy and focal epilepsy.Methods:
This cohort included all pregnancies resulting in liveborn singletons from the Aarhus Birth Cohort, Denmark (1995–2013). Information on time to pregnancy and fertility treatment was obtained from pregnancy questionnaires in early pregnancy. Children developing epilepsy were identified from the Danish National Patient Register and the Danish National Prescription Registry until 2013. Data were analysed using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusted for potential confounders.Results:
A total of 60 440 pregnancies were included, and 0.8% of the children developed epilepsy.The primary analyses showed no association between parental infertility or fertility treatment, and the overall risk of childhood epilepsy (hazard rate ratios (HRs); 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 1.08 (0.73, 1.60) and 1.04 (0.71, 1.52)). In secondary analyses, both parental infertility and fertility treatment were associated with an increased risk of idiopathic generalised epilepsy (HRs and 95% CIs: 2.25 (1.10, 4.58) and 2.45 (1.26, 4.75)). No association was seen for focal epilepsy.Conclusion:
Parental infertility or fertility treatment was not associated with an overall risk of childhood epilepsy. Parental infertility may be associated with an increased risk of idiopathic generalised epilepsy; a subtype of epilepsy believed to be of genetic origin.