Asthma during Pregnancy
Asthma is fairly common during Pregnancy!! If you have been experiencing persistent cough/breathlessness while pregnant, you must get evaluated for asthma!!
About 8-10 % of pregnant females may suffer from asthma .The presence of asthma may vary in severity amongst females and women may experience mild symptoms to severe poorly controlled asthma at various stages of pregnancy. An uncontrolled asthma can result in increased fetal and maternal morbidity, including preterm labor, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital deformities, pregnancy loss, and preeclampsia etc. In general, about one thirds of patients with previously known asthma may improve during pregnancy, one third may remain at baseline and one third may experience worsening or develop new onset asthma symptoms for the first time. The presence of asthma and its severity in prior pregnancies is a good predictor of the course of asthma in pregnancy. Asthma is usually worse in the middle of pregnancy (17-36 weeks) and may improve in first and third trimesters. Other factors such acid reflux, sinusitis and rhinitis may lead to worsening of asthma and should be evaluated and treated.
The treatment of an asthmatic pregnant woman is generally similar to a non-pregnant female. However, several drugs may be of limited/ probable adversity to the growing baby and are used with the discretion of treating doctor. Inhalers/Inhaled steroids/systemic steroids can be safely used in asthma to control symptoms and improve patient outcomes. Patients should avoid use of over the counter allergy and asthma medications without the advice of treating doctors.