Women with asthma take longer to get pregnant

A study says that asthma could delay conception, but treating the condition reverses the damage

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Women who do not have their asthma under control take longer to conceive, says a study.

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This is because the inflammation that causes the respiratory condition may make it harder for a fertilised egg to implant into the womb.

15,000 twins in Denmark were sent questionnaires by Bispebjerg University Hospital. The participants were divided into two groups: women with asthma, and women without.

The women were asked how long they tried to conceive their children and the results found that a higher proportion of women who took longer to conceive had asthma (27%) compared to those who didn’t have the condition (21.6%).

But women with asthma had no fewer children, on average, than those who didn’t – suggesting only conception is delayed.

Lead author, Dr Elisabeth Juul Gade, says: “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.

“As the negative effect of asthma on fertility is reduced by treatment, we can assume that the systemic inflammation characterised by asthma may account for the effect on delaying fertility.”

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