What are the issues concerning parenthood for people with schizophrenia? 

People with schizophrenia have reduced fertility rates compared to general population rates. There is interest in determining how genetic factors predisposing people to schizophrenia are maintained in the face of these reduced fertility rates and this could be explained by increased fertility rates in unaffected relatives. Antipsychotic use in pregnant women requires careful consideration of the mother’s risk of illness relapse, against the risk of harm or complications for the developing infant (including congenital malformation, or poor obstetric outcomes) if medication is to be continued. However, there is currently very little evidence regarding the use of antipsychotics for schizophrenia during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

What is the evidence regarding parenthood?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests people with schizophrenia, particularly men, have fewer offspring than people without schizophrenia. Siblings of people with schizophrenia, particularly brothers, also have fewer offspring than people without schizophrenia, although to a lesser degree.

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests a small increased risk of heart defect or lower birth weight in newborn infants, and a small increased risk of preterm delivery, but not stillbirth, with exposure to antipsychotics (first or second generation). Low quality evidence is unsure about the risk of termination or spontaneous abortion, and size or malformation in newborn infants.

August 2020

Last updated at: 4:46 am, 13th August 2020
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Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
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