If you have asthma, it may be affecting more than your breathing. A study in the European Respiratory Journal suggests that women with asthma could have more difficulty conceiving. Since about 25 million people in the United States have asthma— more than half of them women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—this study is worth noting.
The study followed more than 15,000 female twins who answered questions about asthma and fertility. (The authors of the study chose twins in order to compare sisters without considering genetic or lifestyle differences.) Of those with asthma, a “significantly higher proportion” (27 percent) experienced prolonged time to pregnancy, compared with the group who did not have asthma (21.6 percent).
And of those whose asthma was untreated, 30.5 percent were less likely to become pregnant within a year compared to 23.8 percent who received treatment. Women over age 30 with asthma also took longer to get pregnant than women under 30.
The good news is that overall, women with asthma gave birth to the same number of children on average as the women without asthma. Still, be sure your asthma is well controlled to increase your chances of conceiving.