Asthma and Trouble with Fertility Link Explored

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
Improving women’s asthma control might help them to become pregnant more easily, new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress suggests.

A study presented at the meeting noted that among 744 pregnant asthmatic women enrolled in the Management of Asthma During Pregnancy program at the Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark, and who gave birth between 2007 and 2013, 12% had received fertility treatment compared to 7% of the 2,136 non-asthmatic women in the control group. The researchers noted that although the study does not prove that asthma caused the reduced fertility, they said the correlation may suggest better asthma control may facilitate efforts to become pregnant.

Pregnant women were eligible for the study if they had a diagnosis of asthma and had their first visit to the respiratory clinic within the first 18 weeks of pregnancy. Each asthmatic woman was matched with 3 consecutive nonasthmatic women who gave birth at the hospital; these women made up the control group. The researchers looked at whether the births in both groups were due to spontaneous conception, or whether the women had had assisted reproductive technology (e.g. in vitro fertilisation – IVF) or intrauterine insemination, regardless of the cause of the infertility.

The researchers noted that more studies are needed to confirm their findings.

1. Zarqa A, et al. Fertility treatment in women with asthma – a case-control study of 2,880 women with live births. Abstract PA3587 presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress. September, 12, 2017. Milan, Italy.