I believe there was a thread about this on the old message boards but I can not find it anywhere so I hope you do not mind me starting a new one.

I was just wondering if anyone knew if your monthly period could affect your asthma in any way. I read that hormones can affect asthma in a magazine article a few months back and was just curious as to wheher this information is correct. I am trying to work out what sets my chest offand have worked out that whenever I am in costa or on pred it is always at a similar time of the month to my period. Is this just coincidence (sp?) or is there actually a link.

It qwould be great if anyone can offer advice or there experiences. Is it worth mentioning?


Steph xx

45 Replies

  • hi

    hello steph,

    yes ive herd that some people get worse around the time of there periods and ive read it some where,my friend gets bad around the same time as her periods and i think she spoke to her doctor about makes you think about i or dont i get worse when im due on,it might be a good thing to monitor.

    good luck d58 xxxxx

  • Yep its does im afraid hunny and god knows i know. The hormones can affect your asthma as mine do and also depending on how heavy you are aneamia can contribute to breathlessness and trigger asthma. Some patients i know have had hysterectomies due to this, i was on hormonal pills till had a blood clt and now cant have anything hormonal :( When i had my last period it set me off so much i ended up back on iv aminophylinne!!

    As if we dont have enough to deal with

    Love Andrea xxxx

  • Progesterone

    In a word, or rather, a hormone, Progesterone. When it drops off my chest does a dive, so that's about 3 days before until about 2 days afterwards.

    Taking the occasional course of synthetic Progesterone in the form of Norethisterone tablets to delay things, also delays the likely monthly splat. So for some asthmatics, an almost constant course of the above tablets not only helps with the chest but also the anaemia which people can suffer from.

    This is a known phenomenom and I know of at least 2 other female severe asthmatics who suffer as I do. One is on the above tablets, she also is very anaemic, the other uses progesterone patches. It depends on your age too, and how close you are to the Menopause, although my hormonal link is getting worse with age, plus I also suffer from migraines which are totally hormonal too, so double the splat at this time.

    I am generally prescribed a course of Norethisterone to move my period if I have worked out it is going to be mid vacation, as that is undoubtedly my worst asthma time and could really ruin my holiday! However I always have a worse asthma time when I come off of those tablets as the Progesterone lacking symptoms seem to be heightened. Can't win, can we!

    Sus xx

  • Hi Disco Dolly,

    My asthma started when I was 14, just after my periods started, and I used to exacerbate in a big way just before my period every month, to the extent that I used to end up in ITU some months. As Sus says, it's likely due to the drop in progesterone, which has well documented effects in making smooth muscle more twitchy. Changes in hormone levels can also potentially affect theophylline/aminophylline metabolism.

    For the last 7 - 8 years or so I have taken the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill continuously, ie without a pill-free week every three weeks and therefore no period. When I first started taking it this way, I saw a gynaecologist and I was advised that there was an increased risk of side effects such as DVT - however in my case the benefits were felt to outweigh the risks, as I'd been in ITU on the last four occasions that I had had a period! I believe that these days the evidence seems to suggest that it is not actually as risky as was once thought in any case. Not having periods is an obvious advantage in all sorts of ways too!

    I've often thought that in theory the progesterone-only pill or the progesterone injection should work just as effectively for me, based on the presumed mechanism, but I'm reluctant to start changing things given how unwell I was when I did last have a pill-free week. I've never run into any problems with taking the Pill, but I guess if I did I'd have to reconsider. It certainly has improved my asthma control.

    If you think you have problems around the time of your periods, I'd suggest keeping a detailed peak flow and symptom diary for a couple of months. Doctors are often quite hard to convince that this is a problem, as it seems it's generally not very well known. Taking the combined pill or the progesterone-only pill continuously seems with most people to be a good and pretty safe way of controlling the cycle.

    Don't forget as well that if you are using non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or mefanamic acid (Ponstan) for cramps, they can also make your asthma worse around period time!

    Hope this helps, take care

    Em H

  • Hi disco dolly, I've also found that my asthma gets worse before my period and almost always have a splat either just before or just after starting. My doc won't prescribe any kind of pill for me (even though it would also help with the steroidal hersuitism (sp?)) because I've had extremely severe depression in the past and apparantly the pill can cause or worsen depression. Just something to note if you have a tendancy to depression and p'raps to discuss with your doctor.


  • Hi again dd, I've just done a google search on this and come across a very clear article that explains things in an understandable way. The web link is:

    Take a look at it, it's quite interesting.


  • I just started to take the contraceptive pill last week, I wonder if that has anything to do with my peak flow going up to 470?! I got that reading a day after coming off pred and antibiotics.

    I too have to be really careful with the pill as its made me depressed in the past and I've also had depression. I looked back at all the ones I'd taken and I've chosen one with three levels of hormones in.

  • I have an appt with my fab and rather good lucking gynae doc tommorrow to discuss my options which i know are very limited as my periods are now affecting my asthma more and more. Im would have a full hysterectomy as due to probs in the past and immunosuppresent i cant have children so my bits are redundent!! but i know this is out of the question with my chest but i could have a proceedure called MEA where they microwave your lining away so you no longer have periods!! yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    But i dont know if i will still get the hormonal problems and if so will this still affect my asthma? even so no priods alone is alot easier for when your immobile in hosp asmuch as i am!!

    I will kep you informed

    Love Andrea xx

  • My lady cons who has now retired agreed with this! rogetorone even taken in pill form can affect you it affected her & she said that was when she ended up on pred! then she said she was evil as well. I have had a hysterectomy so it doesnt affect me too much.

  • Andrea, I think the you need to have the hormonal bit removed ie your overies so having the womb micro-waved won't help. I think they can do that under epidural too but don't quote me on that.


  • Andrea,

    When I was first identified as having hormone-sensitive asthma, my gynaecologist was concerned that the combined pill on its own would not completely obliterate my own cycle, and there was talk of using drugs called GnRH antagonists (Zoladex, Prostap) which work by inducing a chemical menopause. I was then going to have HRT on top of that to give me a constant hormone level.

    They're pretty heavy duty drugs - they were originally produced to treat prostate cancer in men although they are used increasingly in women with endometriosis. In the end they decided not to go down that route with me as the pill seemed to be working fairly well and inducing menopause in someone on a lot of steroids obviously increases the risk of osteoporosis.

    It might be worth asking your gynaecologist about these drugs though if you're getting to the point where you're willing to consider hysterectomy! I don't think endometrial ablation on its own would do anything for your hormone levels although as you point out it would eliminate the messy inconvenience of having periods whilst in hospital! (Don't you just love the nappy-like sanitary towels they hand out on the ward?!)

    Hope this helps - just a thought

    Em H

  • Thanks emily h, i have had zoledex in the past for period probs then danazol and was fab on that once the dose sorted, but they i got a pe port trachy and now cant have any form of artificial hormones!! its pants!!

    Thanks anyway

    Love Andrea xxx

  • My asthma is definitely affected by my periods. Just before I am due to get one I always feel a bit more tight chyested then usual and sometimes even get a night time cough. When I was recording my peak flow I could clearly see a distinct deep just before my period was going to start. Very annoying. As if having a period was not enough nuisence on its own.

  • Andrea,

    You could ask about radiotherapy - one of my friends with breast cancer had her pelvis irradiated to destroy her ovaries. It might be a safer option for you than surgery or major drugs - worth finding out about anyway.

  • This thread has been very useful.

    I have a definate lowering in pfs before my period but i have very irregular periods so my local cons seems to think that it is not a good record ( i personally thought it was making it clearer!!) I am going to mention it at my nxt RBH appt and see what they suggest.

    I am not allowed to take anything hormonal as have had both DVTs and PEs in the past, like the sound of zapping the ovaries as i dont need them anymore am not allowed anymore kids (cant afford or cope with them either!!!)

    Im willing to try anything now plus i quite like the sound of no more periods as when i do get them they are hell due to constant blood thinners! Mind you im not sure about more regular drugs.

  • Hi,

    My periods flare up my asthma as well something shocking it happens around about 2-3 days before my periods.

  • Fingers crossed i can have enough puff to see specialist about this at 4pm so if all goes to plan and i dont end up in with chest will let you all know what he suggests!!

    Got alot to answer for being a woman hey!! Love Andrea xx

  • Hi STeph

    I have had asthma for over 30 years now. I used to take the Pill and later was given the Marina Coil. I have been struggling with my asthma, night sweats etc for 2 or 3 years now. I have had a test and according to my hormone levels, have reached the end of the menopause! I am 42 now, so instead of taking HRT, which I totally dissagree with ( Due to the manufactured hormones) I have found a natural progestrone cream. This has stopped my sweats, improved my asthma and skin etc. I am feeling more normal now


    Can't give you the name or that would be advertising I should imagine- is that right?

  • Well guys i made it and have a quick chance to post this b4 my little splt thats brewing gets any worse!!

    God my gynae doc is more handsome and nicer than i remember mmm, should i be having these thoughts about one of my docs? mm its not just me mum too!!!!

    Anyway, bad news is it cant have the microwave option id hoped for as the dont do it under local anymore :( but i can have the mireana coil, its not contraindicated with previous clots as the hormone ir released locally to your uterine lining and not systemically into your bloodstream yeahhhhhhhhh

    so waiting for an appt now to have it fitted. Not thinking back to when i had one b4 yrs ago coz reacted to it but think was coz had an infection at time so fingers crossed, but anything is better than how i am now so here we come!!

    Love Andrea xxx

  • Hi

    My asthma started 5 years ago when I was on Clomid (a fertility drug), the consultant always thought this contributed to my asthma but couldn't prove it. Since then it as been totally out of control, being admitted to ITU monthly for the past two years. The only time my asthma was totally controlled on mimimum medication was whilst I was pregnant. My consultant decided I should be pregnant all the time (not such a good idea).

    Three months ago I had a Prostap injection which is suppose to stop my periods all togeather, it didn't stop my periods but seems to have improved my asthma, I have had NO attacks for 3 months!!! Hurray :)

    Im due to see the gyne cons tomorrow and am gonna ask for a stronger dose to stop my periods. If it works Im gonna go for a hysterectomy, I'll do anything to try and stop my asthma being so bad.

    Truly. x

  • It's been really good to read this thread and realise that I am not the only one who suffers from premenstrual asthma to such an extreme extent. When I was first found to have this problem a lot of doctors I spoke to seemed to find it pretty unbelievable that I was ending up in ITU every month just because of my peroid, and I felt like I must be the only person in the world to have the problem to that extent.

    Thankfully for me taking the Pill continuously seems to work pretty well at regulating my cycle and preventing the premenstrual attacks. These days when I am ventilated (which thankfully happens a lot less often now) my husband has to insist to the ITU staff that they grind up my Pill and put it down the NG tube. I'm sure they think it very strange and perverse that he is thinking of contraception at a time like that!

    Incidently the figure often quoted for pregnancy is that a third of asthmatics are better, a third are worse and a third don't change. Given that I'm better on the Pill I guess I'd probably be better in pregnancy too, although coming off the Pill to get pregnant might prove something of a challenge!

    Hormones, don't you just love them?

    Em H

  • Ive been to see the gyne consultant today had another prostap injection and booked in to have a hysterectomy on 11 sept......hurray no more hormones!!!

    Truly x

  • Truly can i ask are you having a general? a hysterectomy is what i want and need and my gynae doc agrees but said no one will tough me with a barge pole to put me too sleep as id never get off the vent?

    Thnaks Andrea xxx

  • Hi

    Having a spinal as won't get off the vent...........

    Truly x

  • arh, your very brave hunny, but at least with a spinal you get good pain relief after so hopegully you will be able to get up and about quicker and thus preventing the nasty post op probs, good luck hunny

  • Thank you

    im glad somenoe brought this up please help me i suffer from terrible period pains and find that this always makes my assthma worse any i deas on how to control the pain? i would be realy greatful

  • a good thing to use for period pain is buscopan, which you can buy in chemist. it shouldn't make your asthma worse, and works by relaxing the muscle that causes the cramps. Side effects - not common - are dry mouth, blurred vision. can rarely make it hard to pee.

    often people use anti inflammatories but they can make asthma much worse. If buscopan doesn't help see your GP cos there are various prescription only things they can try.

    hope you get something that helps.

  • i agree buscopan is a good solution especially for the first two days. you can buy it over the counter or have it prescribed. good luck

  • hi

    i used to think that my periods affected my ashtma as my pf always dropped around that time, i have had tha mirena coil fitted about three months ago and have for the first time in about five years managed to drop my pred from 15mg daily to 12mg (its very exciting but a bit scary as well) i no this won't be the same for everybody but it is worth try.

    take care everyone

    love lisa xx

  • it is well recognised that periods can in some women have a significant effect on asthma - certainly something I have been asked by practically every consultant I have ever seen, and the suggestion is that starting hormone treatment can often help - whether it is a mirena, the pill, or HRT in the appropriate age.

  • hi all,

    it took me a year of almost ending up in itu every month before afriend pointed out to me that my periods were triggering my chest, most people think it not tru but now i am on the mini pill all the time i am much happier, no going off due to that and no periods, great!!

    george xx

  • Am so not liking being a woman!! helppppppppppppp

    Havent heard anything from hosp about this mirena coil being put in and am struggling now!! thought had got away with it this month as 2 weeks late but no has now come with avengence!! and lungs really unhappy with things, am coping at the mo with my oxygen and hourly nebs!! i havent got time for this got the wedding on sat and loads to do yet!! any ideas on how to tell my hormones where to go and to my lings to get on with breathing!!!


    Love Andrea xxxx

  • Hi everyone

    I've had my hysterectomy and bilateral salpinoophrectomy (both overies out) a month ago. Had it under a spinal which was horrendous, the worse experince ever. Im now on oestrogen only HRT, just a low dose. My wound has opened up and is being packed every day (they think it's due to the high dose of steroids affecting wound healing).

    And then to top it all.......I had an asthma attack on Thursday and ended up on ITU AGAIN.......

    I now feel really fed up and wonder if I;ve gone through all this for nothing. My consultants just say it's early days and that I need to give it time. Hopefully they're right.

    Love Truly x

  • Just had a thought after message from wheezer, i have PCOS which makes my hormones and periods worse and on eof the treatments is metformin, which i took for my diabetes till recently when costa had to stop it and since then the two periods ive had have been horrendous!! ginna have to get back in touch with gynae cons i think!!

    god men have it easy!!

    Love Andrea x

  • Yeah am off to get my mirena coil fitted today!!!!

    lets hope it works as recently have been so bad with bad periods and itt setting off my asthma and this is my only hope so its got to work!!

    will let u all know how get on.

    love andrea xxx

  • Bumping this old thread, which has a lot of information about the link between hormones and asthma

    Em H

  • I used to find periods made things worse. Fortunately I am now on HRT and no probs.

  • Just noticed this thread...

    My asthma started when I was taking fertility drugs... got better to the extent that I needed no medication at all whilst pregnant...but then deteriorated severly after delivery... to the extent that I was on a ventilator every month... anyway had a hysterectomy a year last sept just for my asthma... was well for 6 months and now it's gone bad again. My consultant ( resp and gyne) were 100% sure it was hormone related but obviously it wasn't as now i haven't got any hormones but still got severe brittle asthma...

  • Hi,

    This post is really interesting, but I wondered if anyone had ever wondered if asthma treatment affects their periods? I am not sure if it is coincidence or not, but I have a period every 2 weeks usually and have done for the past while - I first noticed this when I had a kenalog injections, then it stopped for a while, but it has started to happen again when I started xolair injections. Is this just a coincidence or could there be something in it - I don't want to bother my GP with something so trivial. (And if it was to do with the xolair I would happily put up with the period every fortnight as I think the xolair is working so well!).

    Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated

    Hope you are all well x Sarah x

  • Yes, High doses of oral steroids especially can muck up your cycle - I got to the stage a few years ago where I had periods every 2 weeks! It is now back to 26 - 28 days. Though If I have a high dose of pred for a week, it puts a spanner back in the works. I am on low dose pred at the mo.


  • Yes, High doses of oral steroids especially can muck up your cycle - I got to the stage a few years ago where I had periods every 2 weeks! It is now back to 26 - 28 days. Though If I have a high dose of pred for a week, it puts a spanner back in the works. I am on low dose pred at the mo.


  • I've never heard of Xolair having this effect - perhaps that's one to tell your consultant so he/she can fill out a yellow card!

    As Kate says, high dose oral or IV steroids certainly can have this effect. I am not sure whether they affect my cycle, I've been on the continuous combined pill for so long, and now depot progesterone, that I don't think I've got much of a natural cycle any more!

    Em H

  • Re-bumping this for Caroline

  • Hi Em H and Kate,

    Thanks for your advice - I think I will mention this when I see my consultant (am due to go for my next xolair nest week anyway). Its worth mentioning (I just wanted to check that it *may* possibly be linked - although of course I understand that it could be something completely seperate!). Anyway, your answers were really helpful, thanks again. Sarah x

  • There is a definate link especially if your asthma is not well controlled. For a while i was being admitted to hospital every month at the beginning of my period. I had mentioned it to the hospital doctors but they did not agree. Until i saw a specialist who advised there is a link between periods and worsening asthma symptoms. I am also on xolair and have not noticed in changes in my cycle. When i was on very high doses of prednisolone my cycle was all over the place.

    Now that i am on xolair and my asthma is well controlled i have not had any worsening symptoms before or during my periods.

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