Asthma UK community forum
10,394 members16,919 posts

Birth control/contraception options

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone has any advice/experience on birth control options with asthma? (Badly behaved, annoying asthma, just for context. I'm fairly familiar with the inside of A&E).

I have the Nexplanon implant and it's been ok but it's getting to the end and becoming annoying with the periods. I'm trying to work out whether to get another one or look at other options.

I'm not really worried so much about my asthma being triggered, as I don't think periods/hormones are a trigger for me. As far as I know the only big no-nos for asthma are some of the morning after pills.

HOWEVER I do end up on frequent courses of pred and am waiting to see if I have secondary adrenal insufficiency because of that. So really I'm wondering if anyone has any helpful experiences or knowledge about whether there is anything I need to consider. Also wondering about mood effects with pred plus hormonal contraception.

I feel like asthma nurses (including my nurse specialist) will know about asthma but I don't know how they are with advising on contraception from this POV. If they are good, then great and I may give the helpline a ring as they're fantastic.

I'm reasonably sure sexual health/contraceptive healthcare professionals are not likely to be up on weird asthma like mine (no reason they should be - the asthma ones barely are as I'm a freak!). Again, I could be wrong and they may be able to advise about this kind of thing including pred - if so, is there an advice service anyone can recommend?

Thanks in advance!

7 Replies
oldestnewest

I don't know much about contraception and asthma, but I couldn't read your post and not reply. I had a copper coil that robbed me of 7 years of my life. I've never felt so unwell for so long. I had no idea that the coil could have so many side effects, and few of them were discussed at the time of insertion. GP's would tell me thst the crushing tiredness was down to being a working mother (I knew it had to be more than that) and that some level of pms was normal (No way was what I was experiencing normal) it wasn't until I was showing possible symptoms of cervical cancer did GP panic and put me on the 2 week cancer pathway and finally a consultant gyne suggest my coil could be to blame. After ruling out anything more serious he removed the coil and within 2 weeks I had my life back. Sorry for such a long post, but I wouldn't wish one on my worst enemy. They tell you that they are hormone free, but not the effects they impose on your own natural hormone cycles.

Reply

Thanks Kate! That's really helpful as I was considering the copper coil and hadn't thought it could have hormonal effects.

It sounds like an absolute nightmare, sorry you had to go through that. There seems to be this belief that because they don't have good evidence on some side effects, they don't exist, rather than not being confirmed in a trial. I was pretty cross seeing a summary for GPs on Nexplanon which said no evidence of effects on mood. They could at least have said there were anecdotal reports and it is possible some people may be affected (I have seen plenty on forums and a friend was bad enough to have to have it taken out after a few months). Otherwise I think drs tend to put it down to other things, as you found, and don't explore that possibility.

Reply

I am no expert on Contraception but what I will tell you is my experience of using Contraception with having asthma myself!

I have never had a coil fitted & didn't really want anything like that because of hearing about friends experiences with them.. Suffice it to say, it put me off!

I was unable to use the combined oral Contraception due to having high Oestrogen levels naturally & it made me extremely unwell, so was put on a Progesterone only pill & found this marvelous! I haven't had a period for at least 10 years! Heaven! For me it was a relief not having to deal with the 'additional' pain, nausea, mood swings, hot flushes etc - everything that's horrible about having a period basically!

I found that the Progesterone only pill was great for me & did not affect my asthma at all but everyone is different & not all want to take an oral contraceptive..

I have had times when I have needed to take Prednisolone but have never been warned by my GP that this could reduce the effects of my Contraception pill - only some specific antibiotics & they are fewer with a Progesterone only pill. I would suggest that you always check with your GP/Health Nurse to be sure...

Just for your information - both my Daughter & Sister tried the Implant but both had problems with this too, so always do your research before you decide.. Question everything! ;)

Debs...

Reply

Thanks Debs! I got the implant so I didn't have to remember another pill (plenty as it is with the asthma...) but an oral option might be more flexible if it doesn't work out. I got no periods for a while with the implant but as it winds down they start again (and don't always stop...) which is annoying.

My googling suggests pred doesn't affect the pill which is good, but that the pill might affect pred by increasing levels in the body. Problem is I become a moody cow far too easily and I definitely felt horrible the first few months with the implant when also taking pred! I somehow also manage this with *low* cortisol too.

This is all very confusing but your post is v helpful as it made me consider other options.

1 like
Reply

As my asthma is massively affected by my hormones, I’m trying to explore what might get them under control so also currently looking at other options to the pill.

All I can say from my experience is that I know pred tablets can affect the pill and make it less effective so always best to be cautious. I’m not sure about the effect on moods, I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and as a result have more testosterone than oestrogen and I’ve never really been sure if my pill therefore just ‘tops up’ the female hormone I’m missing, if that makes sense? I know pred tablets affect my moods and as my flare ups are usually before my period starts it’s sometimes hard to tell if I’m moody because of PMT, the pred, or the fact that I’m just generally moody anyway! 😂

Reply

My asthma is not affected by hormones but if it helps, I decided to go for another implant and it has been much steadier mood wise this time. The first time I was on a lot of pred with fluctuating doses and I do wonder if that was why I found it so hard.

I definitely find it easier not having to remember another pill!

Reply

Thank you, steadying my moods would be good! Think I need to chat it through with the specialist as I need to strike the balance between what’s right for my asthma and what’s right for my PCOS. Ahh the joys of being female! 😂

Reply

You may also like...