Asthma may lead to infertility in women. Explaining this point, a new study from Denmark says that asthma patients are at higher risk of struggling to conceive than women without the condition.
The study published in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at nearly 15,000 twin sisters aged up to 41 years. Through questionnaires, researchers collected information about prevalence of asthma and fertility problems among the women. Participants also shared details of their pregnancy status- whether they are experiencing any difficulties while trying for a baby and the number of children they had.
The women were divided into two groups- women with and without asthma. The researchers also noted down the asthma patients who received treatment for their condition and those who never sought any medical help.
Of the total participants, 955 were asthmatics. While comparing the chances of pregnancy among the asthma patients, researchers found that most of them (27 percent) experienced delay in getting pregnant compared to the control group (21.6 percent). The delay in pregnancy was more common in the untreated asthma group (30.5 percent), than women who took medication for their condition (23.8 percent).
The risk also went up with ageing. Women aged above 30 years (32.2 percent) waited more to fulfill their baby dreams than women below 30 years (24.9 percent).
However, the condition did not affect the ability of the women to have more children. Asthmatic women had nearly the same number of children as normal women.
Lead author, Dr Elisabeth Juul Gade, said that the delay may be caused by the inflammation part of asthma. "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. 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," Juul Gade, said in a news release.
"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."