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Female Infertility Tied to Asthma Managed With Rescue Inhalers

Last Updated: February 27, 2018.

Women with current asthma who use intermittent reliever treatment with short-acting beta-agonists have reduced fertility, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the European Respiratory Journal.

TUESDAY, Feb. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women with current asthma who use intermittent reliever treatment with short-acting beta-agonists have reduced fertility, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Luke E. Grzeskowiak, Ph.D., from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues examined the impact of asthma and use of asthma medication on fecundability and time to pregnancy using data on healthy, nulliparous women. Asthma was self-reported; women with asthma were further divided by asthma symptoms and asthma medication use, and classified as having former asthma or current asthma.

The researchers found that 19.7 percent of the 5,617 women in the study reported doctor-diagnosed asthma. Of the women with asthma, 11.7 percent were identified as currently having asthma, and 8.0 percent formerly had asthma. Women with current asthma managed with short-acting beta-agonists had an adjusted fecundability odds ratio (FOR) that was significantly lower compared to those without asthma (FOR, 0.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.75 to 0.96). No difference was seen for those with former asthma (FOR, 1.00; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.89 to 1.13) or for those with current asthma using inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) with or without long-acting beta-agonists (FOR, 0.98; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.15).

"These findings support appropriate management of asthma with ICS preventer medications to ensure optimal asthma control," the authors write. "Women with asthma planning a pregnancy should be encouraged to continue taking their preventer medications."

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