Can Pregnancy Make Asthma Worse?
Asthma is a medical condition where the airways that carry air to and from lungs get constricted or narrowed which leads to difficulty in breathing, and there is evidence to suggest that pregnancy can make the condition more acute. This narrowing of airways causes a feeling of tightness in the chest and coughing, and can be very dangerous depending on the severity of the asthma attack and the availability of medication.
A person can have asthma right from birth or may develop asthma anytime later in life due to allergies. Certain things - even the time of day - can affect a persons asthma and make it worse, and pregnancy can be one of these. In this OneHowTo article we explain how pregnancy can make asthma worse.
Asthma in Pregnancy
Asthma is generally considered to be worse in women as compared to males. This is because asthma is affected adversely by hormones, which keep fluctuating in females all through her life. As per a survey conducted in the United States, almost 80 percent of hospitalizations due to asthma in women take place just before the menstrual cycle, when the estrogen level drops. Pregnancy is a whole long phase of changing hormones, which makes asthmatic women even more vulnerable.
If you suspect that you may have asthma but you aren't sure, you may want to read about how to tell if you have asthma.
How Does Pregnancy affect Asthma?
Pregnancy normally does affect asthma, but in fact in a few cases asthma gets better in pregnancy. Some women have a strong acid reflux during pregnancy, and when the stomach acid leaks into the oesophagus, asthma gets worse. However, it depends on the severity of asthmatic condition prior to pregnancy. If the condition was severe, chances are, that it will get worse when you are expecting. Asthma can occur during pregnancy, even if you have never had it before, and though the effects are not fatal, asthma can cause complications in pregnancy.
Effects of Asthma on Pregnancy
Asthma reduces airflow and hence the oxygen carried to the fetus, which leads to retarded growth and sometimes premature birth. Asthma can cause high blood pressure during pregnancy, which affects the placenta, again leading to premature birth.
The symptoms should not be taken lightly when you are expecting. Any shortness of breath or any feeling of tightness in the chest should be consulted with the doctor, and managed appropriately. Always keep your inhaler on you in case it is needed.
Asthma Management during Pregnancy
A woman's plan of treatment or management remains more or less the same, with the same anti-inflammatory drugs, and antihistamines that help the condition as in any non-pregnant female. The additional care that is required for a pregnant woman with asthma is:
1. Regular monitoring of lungs, just to make sure that the fetus is getting enough oxygen
2. Keeping blood pressure in control by avoiding coffee, high salt etc.
3. Keeping a check on the fetal movements, since deprivation of oxygen could affect them adversely.
Asthma and pregnancy both impact each other. Can pregnancy make asthma worse? Yes, but pregnancy is a 40-week phase of a whole new set of experiences. Be aware of the symptoms and be alert of any changes and take the prescribed medication and follow the advice of medical professionals, and you should be absolutely fine.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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