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Asthma 'may cause pregnancy delay'

18 November 2013 09:30

Asthma may increase the time it takes for a woman to get pregnant, scientists say

Asthma may increase the time it takes for a woman to get pregnant, scientists say

Women with asthma may find it takes longer to fall pregnant, new research suggests.

The study indicates that the inflammation characteristic of asthma can have an impact on fertility.

This was found to be especially true for women over 30, and for those whose asthma is left untreated.

Scientists looked at data from 15,000 female twins from Denmark. The women, who had an average age of 27, were asked if they had tried to get pregnant for more than a year without success.

Twins were used for the study in order to take account of genetic and lifestyle factors.

Results showed that 995 participants had a history of asthma. Some 27% of these women said they had experienced a delay when trying to get pregnant, compared with just over 21% of non-asthma sufferers.

Despite this, researchers said that women who take medication and control their asthma could reduce the delay.

Treatment reduced the chances of waiting for pregnancy to 23.8%, compared with 30.5% for those not receiving treatment. As well as the comprehensive range of treatments available, asthma travel insurance policies can also be taken out by sufferers to give them peace of mind when going on holiday.

Lead scientist Dr Elisabeth Juul Gade, from Bispebjerg University Hospital in Denmark, said: "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."

Overall, women with asthma gave birth to the same average number of children as those without the condition. This was because they were more likely to try for a family at a younger age, when women are more fertile, researchers said.

Once they fall pregnant, women can rest assured that comprehensive pregnancy travel insurance is available.

Dr Gade said: "Despite the delay, our overall results suggest that women with asthma had the same number of children, which is due to the fact that they tend to conceive at an earlier age compared to those without, getting a head start on their reproductive life."

The findings have been reported in the European Respiratory Journal.