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Female asthma and atopy – impact on fertility: a systematic review

Authors Bláfoss J, Hansen AV, Malchau Lauesgaard SS, Ali Z, Ulrik CS

Received 30 January 2019

Accepted for publication 19 June 2019

Published 24 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 205—211

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JAA.S203576

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Amrita Dosanjh


Joan Bláfoss,1 Anne Vejen Hansen,1 Sara S Malchau Lauesgaard,2 Zarqa Ali,1 Charlotte Suppli Ulrik1,3

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark; 2Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark; 3Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Background and objective: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among women of reproductive age, and previous studies have suggested a link between female asthma and infertility. The aim of the present review is to provide an update on current knowledge of the association between female asthma and/or atopy and a reduction in fertility, ie, number of offspring, time to pregnancy (TTP) and need for fertility treatment.
Methods: Systematic review performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses-guidelines.
Results: A total of 14 studies fulfilled the predefined criteria for inclusion in the present review. Six studies investigated the association between female asthma and/or atopy and number of offspring, of which one reported a positive, two a negative, and three no association. Three studies addressed the association between asthma and TTP and found that TTP was significantly prolonged in asthmatic women compared to non-asthmatic women. Five studies investigated subfertility and the need for fertility treatments of which two studies found a higher prevalence of infertility among women prescribed anti-asthma medication. One study found no difference in the number of fertility treatments of asthmatic women compared to non-asthmatic women, whereas three studies reported that female asthma was associated with significantly more fertility treatment compared to non-asthmatic women.
Conclusion: Although the available evidence is conflicting, there is a clear trend toward an association between female asthma and a reduction in fertility, and by that a larger proportion requiring fertility treatment, even though female asthma might not negatively affect total number of offspring.

Keywords: asthma, fertility, offspring, fertility treatment, time to pregnancy

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