Study Finds Asthma May Interfere With TTC

A recent large-scale study out of Denmark has hinted that getting pregnant may be a little more difficult for women with asthma.

Couple at doctor

While overall fertility rates don’t seem to be affected, researchers in Denmark have found that having asthma may lengthen the time it takes some women to conceive. The reason, however, is still a mystery.

Trying to conceive

Trying to get pregnant can be easy for some, and difficult for others. Researchers in Denmark analyzed information gathered from over 15,000 women to find out if having asthma plays a part in a woman’s chances of getting pregnant — and the answer, based on their findings, is “maybe.”

Infertility is generally defined as trying to get pregnant for a year without success, so researchers asked the women in the study if they had ever spent more than a year trying to get pregnant. Women without asthma answered “yes” 21 percent of the time, while women with asthma answered in the affirmative 27 percent of the time. They also found that women were more likely to experience longer waiting times if their asthma was untreated, or if they were over age 30.

However, the overall fertility rate for both groups were essentially the same, with the same average number of children for moms with asthma as well as those without. Study author Dr. Elisabeth Juul Gade, of the Respiratory Research Unit at Bispebjerg University hospital in Copenhagen, said that possibly the women with asthma started having children at a younger age.

The reason behind the trend? Researchers weren’t sure. They speculated that women who had frequent attacks likely focus on those first rather than getting pregnant. They also said that asthma can affect more than just the lungs, and the hallmark inflammation of asthma may also impact the uterus.

The study concluded, as many do, with the appeal that more research needs to be done on asthma and its effect on conception timing.

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