Can good asthma control improve fertility in women?

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Women with asthma are more likely to have fertility treatment before giving birth than non-asthmatic women, according to new research presented today (12 September 2017) at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Among 744 pregnant asthmatic women enrolled in the Management of Asthma During Pregnancy programme at Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark, and who gave birth between 2007 and 2013, 12 per cent had received fertility treatment compared to 7 per cent of the 2,136 non-asthmatic women in the control group. Although the study does not prove that asthma reduces fertility, the researchers say it suggests that improving asthma control might help women to become pregnant more easily.

Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik, from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Hvidovre Hospital, who supervised the study, said: “We don't have the hard-core evidence, but based on what we know, it seems very likely that good asthma control will improve fertility in women with asthma by reducing the time it takes to become pregnant and, therefore, the need for fertility treatment.

“However, when it comes to fertility for women, age is a crucial factor, so the message, particularly for women with asthma, is don't wait too long, as it might reduce your chances of having children.”