Women Using Asthma Medication Experience Reduced Fertility

pregnant woman
discovered that women who currently suffer from asthma and are on intermittent reliever treatment with short-acting beta-agonists experience reduced fertility. However, there is no loss of fertility for women who formerly had asthma or for those on asthma preventer medications.

  • Research methods
  • Results and Conclusion
  • Further text and advice

Research Methods

Participants were healthy women who had not yet given birth. They were recruited to the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study between November 2004 and February 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand, Adelaide, Australia, Cork, Ireland, and Manchester and London in the United Kingdom. Women were asked if they were diagnosed with asthma by a physician. They were divided into groups based on asthma symptoms and asthma medication use and were then classified as either having former asthma or current asthma. Women with current asthma were divided again over where they used intermittent reliever medications only or they had additional reliever medications.

19.7% of the 5,617 women who participated in the study reported doctor-diagnosed asthma. 656 were considered current asthmatics and 450 were former asthmatics.


Results and Conclusion

The study, conducted by Luke E. Grześkowiak from the University of Adelaide, found that while asthma, in general, is associated with reduced fertility, women who currently have asthma and are taking intermittent reliever treatment with SABAs are impacted the most. For women with asthma who are trying to get pregnant, preconception management in asthma will be important in optimizing pregnancy outcomes.

Information on the relationship between asthma and fertility is quite sparse, as is data on asthma medication use.


Further Text and Advice

The authors wrote that “These findings support appropriate management of asthma with ICS preventer medications to ensure optimal asthma control. Women with asthma planning a pregnancy should be encouraged to continue taking their preventer medications.”

Before making any decisions regarding your treatment for asthma, discuss your concerns with your doctor first.