Can asthma affect fertility?

Submitted by Shelby D Burns Tue 11/19/2013

Women with asthma could have more difficulty conceiving, resulting in prolonged time to pregnancy. This new study adds to previous research suggesting that asthma does impact fertility. Since women are more likely than men to have asthma, the study is particularly important where fertility concerns are. While the relationship of fertility to asthma has been observed in the past, this study investigates the link between asthma and delayed pregnancy in a large scale study of twins. Researchers looked at data from a cohort study of over 15,000 twins who were aged 12-41 years and voluntarily completed a survey which include asthma and fertility among its topics. Twins made direct comparison easier. The women were divided into asthma and non-asthma groups, then divided into subgroups for those who were treated and untreated. Women with asthma take longer to conceive Researchers found that in the group with asthma, a significantly higher proportion of women, approximately 27%, experienced prolonged time to pregnancy, compared with the group of women who did not have asthma, approximately 22%. Untreated asthmatics took even longer In the group of women who did not treat their asthma, the risk of delayed conception increased by 31% compared to those who treated their asthma at 24%. Researchers also note that women with asthma over the age of 30 had a longer waiting time to pregnancy compared with women under the age of 30 – 32% versus 25%. Ultimately, women with asthma do conceive Women with asthma g e birth to the same number of children on average as the women without asthma. For unknown reasons, women with asthma start their efforts to conceive at an earlier age giving them more time to achieve pregnancy. “Our results shed light on the complex interactions between fertility and asthma. Although we observed women with asthma experiencing longer waiting times to pregnancy, our findings suggest that if women take their medication and control their asthma, they can reduce this delay,” explained Dr. Elisabeth Juul Gade, lead author of the study.

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