Asthma UK community forum
10,154 members16,782 posts

severe asthma and ivf

Hi all

Has anyone been through pregnanvy or ivf with severe asthma?

we are currently going through fertility treatment bjt after having an unsuccessful first attempt and a hospital admission in the process my fertility cons has now decided we cannot proceed with treatment .

My chest consultant has told him what a high risk i am and so it has been decided to stop treatment.

Im beside myself anc dont know what to do next. I feel like they are playing God as they just dont know how ill be if I fall pregnant.

thanks for reading.

4 Replies


Firstly I want to send you a massive hug. I've got both Asthma, and I've been through IVF.

My asthma wasn't considered severe then so unfortunately I can't help you with regards to this aspect. My asthma was ok through treatment and with both my IVF pregancies and in fact improved. Although straight after birth, I had problems.

I don't know how severe your Asthma is or how you will react to different hormones in your body with the treatment or pregnancy..but then neither do the medics.

Can you get a second opinion?? Are there different meds you can try?? What do you take at present??

I really feel for you. IVF is a really stressful, difficult and emotional time.....made alot tougher for you with having severe asthma.

Hugs xxxx


Thank you so much for your reply. Ive had the day from hell going over everything and spent if it in tears with a very tight wheezy chest, the stress is doing mt asthma no favours.

I have brittle asthma and I am steroid dependant as well as all the other concoctions inclyding nebs and a sub cut infusion pump. On top of this I have steroid induced myopathy which really affectx my legs so walk with crutches and use a wheelchair for distances but as I get stronger I do get down to 1 crutch or a sti k and can walk a bit further.

Im more frustrated and cross and devasted that im not even allowed to try to fall pregnant. Like you say the medics dont know everything and despite telling me im a high risk he has also said I could improve or stay the same or get worse which is the worry but surely ultimately its my decision. Im prepared to do anything or sign anything to go ahead and try to become a mum, something I so so desperately want.

Like you say this journey is already so difficult and an emotional rollercoaster but it has just been made even more devastating for someone to just make the decision to stop.

Im gojng to speak to my gp on mon to get a referral to another nearby hospital for a second opinion.

We have an appointment on thurs to see oyr fertility cons up at james cook but one I am absolutely dreading.

Are yoy doing better now? Assuming you had successful ivf treatment then?

take care xx


Sounds hideous for you :((

Yes we had successful IVF. In fact we did ICSI and had a lovely little girl and then did frozen cycle and had another little girl. We wre incredibly lucky!!

I had other health issues..I was diagnosed epileptic during my first cycle (prob due to hyper stimulation and stress) and was told I mustn't get pregnant as it was a huge risk to myself and the baby. However, selfishly I know I had to keep trying and I did! I fell pregnant and it was fine and I've got my little girl.

The thing is with asthma in pregnancy, it can get better, worse of stay the same. I've got 3 children (only the last two are ivf), my first baby my asthma got soooo much worse. He was a boy. And the last two, my asthma got better during pregnancy but awful pm delivery, and these were both girls!!

I really don't think you know til it happens.

I can understand the medics beig cautious but I can also empathise with the overwhelming need to be a mummy. I went against all the advice to try for my last baby. It worked and was a great pregnancy. She's been poorly since but I still maintain it was the right decision.

Sending you huge hugs. Please keep in touch hunny.

Emily . Xx

Ps : fertility friends website is great for support with IVF. Xx


The medics aren't saying it to be difficult or to play god, they are saying it with your safety, and subsequently, a foetus's safety in mind. I am unable to have children due to my lungs. I have severe asthma, refractory LRTI's and only one litre of lung capacity due to severe kyphoscoliosis (should be over four litres). Due to genetic issues, I was accepted for egg donation and IVF, but after the obstetricians and respiratory folk consulted, it was explained that it was simply too risky. They said with almost absolute certainty, that it would result in me needing to terminate the pregnancy in the first four or five months, or dying from being pregnant. They were gentle, kind, and sensitive, and explained their reasons. Doctors have no reason to say these things just to cause you upset or prevent you from having a child. They are there to consider the risks to yours, and your potential child's health.

Did it upset me? Yes, of course, it was a huge huge grieving process for me and my husband, and I felt a lot of guilt for being the one who couldn't give him children. But I understood the risks, and why they were saying it was too high risk. Ultimately, I also didn't want to leave my husband wifeless for the sake of a child, or have to terminate our pregnancy. The reality is that it hurts, and the need to be a parent can feel overwhelming at times. But in time it hurts less, and I find I have to focus on what is good in our life, like a strong marriage, good friends etc and enjoy the children of friends and family. Of course its not the same, but thats life.

If you're unhappy, then get a second opinion, but just because they are saying stuff you don't want to hear, doesn't make them the bad guys, nor does it mean they are playing god. Sometimes it is just pants, and you have to find a way to get through it. Im sorry if that sounds harsh, its not supposed to - I do understand how you are feeling, I've been through it. You say you're prepared to 'do anything or sign anything' but what do you mean by that? and to what end? Because the harsh realities may be that you have to terminate your pregnancy, or that if you become ill, you lose your baby in order for medics to save your life. That is the reality of what you are considering with brittle asthma. They are tough realities to live with..


You may also like...