Steroids/Asthma Meds and Menstrual Cycle

Does anyone know if/have experience of asthma meds (especially long term steroids) affecting the menstrual cycle?

I've always been 'lucky'(!) to have a regular cycle since I was 13, no probs at all, and then last year, when everything went wrong with my asthma, I had several hospital admissions and was on pred for months (previously I've only had short courses), my cycle messed up completely and despite having got off the pred (although I am on lots of other stuff) things haven't gone back to normal, leaving me with two-week long, irregular (but closer together than they should be :( ), very heavy and getting progressively more painful periods.

My GP has been great and we've been working to find painkillers that help and we've talked about other options as this is really getting me down. However, it would really help me to know why this sudden change - she's said she doesn't think steroids could do this, but my asthma meds have been the only change (unlikely to be stress, as I've had stress before which hasn't had any impact). So I was just wondering, it could well be a coincidence (but running out of options!!), but has anyone else had similar experiences?

7 Replies

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  • hey, sorry to hear your having problems :( i was told when i first went on long term steroids that prednisolone can interfere with the menstrual cycle making it irregular or stopping it all together. I cant remember if the dr said why or how often that happens but it was definately mentioned. :)

  • I began to have a lot of problems with periods when I was on very frequent courses of steroids and this continued once i was on long term pred. I had always had no problems but suddenly suffered with frequent, heavy painful periods- and being NSAID sensitive I was quite limited as to what I was able to take for this. I changed consultants and he decided he wanted to try me on a combined contraceptive pill to see if my asthma was related to my hormones. It made no difference to my asthma control but it has made life a lot easier and after trying a few different pills I no longer suffer from painful, heavy periods. I am not sure if this is an option for you maybe??

    Also, just because I am too lazy to write this on the other thread, I too have been on spiriva (tiotropium) for my asthma. I have tried it twice. The first time I think it made a difference, but got stopped by my consultant. The second time I was swapped on to atrovent so I could use a spacer and then on to nebulised atrovent while in hospital and was discharged on this instead. I am hoping to swap back to spiriva once I am better controlled and no longer need regular nebulisers.

    I hope you get it sorted- it's so frustrating when asthma meds cause other problems which then require more meds to fix!

    xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • hi there ratty

    I was a late starter anyways and sort of had a year of normal cycle before at the age of 17 it all went crazy-this did tally with my asthma going very severe too and requiring more steroids.

    My hormones dont affect my asthma too much -except when im really stressed out!

    I have now had almost 10years where i either go months without a period or i have about a month of continuous! I did try the progesterone pill but i had a reaction to it so it was never really persued- i think it will only ever be properly explored by my gp when im ready to have kids tho it isnt something that dominates my life as its so rare i have one these days. Hope they work out something for you. Take care Xx

  • sorry your having such problems ratty. Im steroid dependant and have been for the past last 7 years. My steroid dose does go up and down between 20 (very rarely) and 60mg and i notice a big difference with my cycle especially when on higher doses above 30mg. Can sometimes be very heavy/painful and last for 10-14 days and then like you bk on again within a couple of wks. My ashma seems to be linked with hormornes among eveythin else and always dipped in days leading up to my cyle and first few days of it. Use to see a gynae cons who loked into things for me and tried a number of 'pills' to see if any improvement but had a lot of side effects so tried the injection but had a lot of weight gain that wasnt happy with on top of pred weight so scrapped that too. In last couple yrs i have been using the contraceptive patch and it has been fantastic!!! No side effects, other than bit of itching round patch when its ready for changing!! It has helped lighten my periods, asthma doesnt always get as bad as use to during the cycle (although this is not always the case). The main thing is my cycle is not as heavy/painful and lasts 'norm' time and you always know when its duw, give or take few days!! Definately worth looking into, i appreciate everyone different but the patch has been great for me!

    Hope you find something that helps.

    Take care

    Sarah

  • Hi everyone, thanks for your replies, it's good to know that this isn't just me! Struggling a bit at the mo as it's really painful and I'm sooo tired, but thankfully my asthma is being good and giving me a break and behaving itself (well, ish..., better than it was!!) - don't think I would cope with both. I'll discuss this further with my GP - I read the small print on the pred leaflet again and yep, menstrual changes are on there :(

  • New to all this. Have found this useful as I was a bit concerned about my cycle going haywire. Think I might be a regular visitor to find out what's in store for me. Good to see such a supportive blog page.

  • Hi ratty,

    I used to suffer with very heavy preiods too and the Dr suggested I try the Minerva coil as the amoumt of hormone released is minimal and it either stops or massively lightens and shortens your period. I found it excellent as I struggled with hormone effects from the pill etc.

    X

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