Home > Online Clinic News > Hormone Fluctuation During Menstrual Cycle May Affect Asthma

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by Robert MacKay, Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Categories: Asthma

A woman’s menstrual cycle is known to affect many health issues, now it appears that respiratory symptoms can be added to that list. A recent Norwegian study suggests that a women’s menstrual cycle may have an impact on the severity of respiratory symptoms, which in turn may affect conditions such as asthma.

The study, which was published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, included a total of 4000 women that had a 28 day cycle and did not use contraceptives. Overall 28% of the individuals were smokers, and 8% had asthma. The key findings indicated that wheezing symptoms worsened between day 10 and 22 during the menstruation cycle. In addition to that, shortness of breath appeared to worsen between day 7 and 21. This led the authors to conclude that there potentially may be both a direct and indirect relationship between a woman’s menstruation cycle and respiratory symptoms.

Generally, during a woman’s cycle her hormones fluctuate and the body temperature rises during ovulation. The findings from the current study would suggest that this may directly influence airways and indirectly influence inflammatory responses to infection.

This of course is valuable news when it comes to the management and treatment of respiratory conditions. For instance, women with asthma may note if there is a particular time during their cycle that symptoms worsen which can help them take preventive measures and tailor treatments accordingly. However, as a mere 8% of the participants had asthma the findings would need to be replicated specifically in this population.

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