Asthma control crucial to healthy outcome
IHAVE suffered from moderate to severe asthma most of my life. I now plan/ hope to start a family. Will my asthma affect my pregnancy or my health or my future unborn baby’s health? Sonia, Hyde Park ASTHMA
is a condition that about 10 per cent of people in Australia have.
People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers that make it harder to breathe.
Most people can lead a normal life once the asthma is controlled with medications.
Preventer medications make the airways less sensitive to the triggers and reliever medications give quick relief to asthma symptoms – wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
Asthma can get better, worse or stay the same during the pregnancy. The better the asthma was controlled before the pregnancy, the better the asthma will stay during the pregnancy.
The asthma medications are safe during the pregnancy and the asthma is managed the same way as if you were not pregnant.
As long as your asthma is well- controlled, there are minimal risks to your pregnancy. If your asthma is not controlled there are risks to both you and your baby’s health. These include high blood pressure and preeclampsia, but also low birth weight, growth problems and even death of the baby.
The most important thing is to have your asthma controlled as best as possible before falling pregnant and keeping it well under control during the pregnancy.
You will have to see your doctor or lung specialist for this and sometimes your medication will be adjusted.
The good thing is that the medication is safe for the pregnancy and women with well- controlled asthma generally have normal pregnancies with healthy babies. Renee Verkuijl is based at NQ Gynaecology in Townsville and specialises in infertility, general obstetrics and gynaecology. Contact her at NQ Gynaecology on 4772 5059 or go to www. nqgyn. com or www. qfg. com. au