Does Asthma Really Worsen Around Menstruation?

My doctor recently diagnosed coughing and wheezing that I have had for about six months as asthma. I had really bad bronchitis and got these symptoms after. Could that have caused me to get asthma? Also, it seems like my symptoms are worse around my period. Am I imagining that?

It is not unusual for asthma to begin following a bout of lower respiratory infection, such as bad bronchitis or pneumonia. This is usually a nonallergic form of asthma, and the airways within the lungs become very “twitchy” or irritable. Cold air, exercise, and even strong odors may cause coughing and wheezing.

It is very interesting that during ovulation or menstruation asthma may be worsened in some women. Most of the research has been directed at attempting to alter this worsening with medication. In one study, a medication given monthly (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) was successful in halting very severe asthma worsening during ovulation and menstrual periods in a 45-year-old woman.

You should bring the problem up to your asthma doctor and see if she has any ideas about how to treat it.

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