oa South African Medical Journal - Electroshock treatment of mental illness during pregnancy

Volume 26, Issue 17
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A review of the literature of electroshock treatment during pregnancy has been presented. An additional case report has been contributed. In all, 12 favourable reports have been recorded from the literature, over 80 individual treatments being involved. Treatment has been given at all stages of pregnancy. A single case has been given as many as 30 treatments. Of the unfavourable reports, there is only one in which electroshock treatment was possibly responsible for an abortion. In this case it was probable that there were other factors contributing to the abortion. In no instance did injury to a foetus occur which could be reasonably attributed to electroshock therapy. The personal views of an obstetrician, supporting the findings of this investigation, have been quoted.

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