Asthma and Pregnancy – Symptoms, Treatments & All you need to know
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Pregnancy may trigger some diseases in women, causing them to appear for the first time, as well as exacerbating some existing chronic diseases. At the beginning of these diseases is the problem of asthma. While the negative effects and crises of asthma on the respiratory system pose a threat to pregnant women, if they are not treated and controlled, they can cause some dangers for both the expectant mother and the baby in the mother’s womb. Therefore, asthma in pregnancy stands out as a problem that should be followed closely.
What symptoms does asthma manifest during pregnancy, what are the effects for mother and baby? What causes asthma during pregnancy, how it goes, we have compiled all the questions for you.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a kind of chronic respiratory disease in which the airways become hypersensitive to some environmental factors, causing swelling as a result of narrowing and difficulty breathing.
People with asthma may experience difficulty breathing, called an asthma attack, an asthma attack, or an asthma attack, having trouble breathing. In these attacks, the body is exposed to insufficient oxygen for a certain period of time.
Factors that play a role in the emergence of asthma and trigger asthma are as follows;
- Genetic predisposition (Familial history of asthma)
- Air pollution
- House dust and dust mites
- Cat, dog hair
- Air fresheners, perfumes, perfumed detergents
- Smoking or being in a smoking environment
- viral infections
- Humid and humid living environment
- Psychological factors
These factors and allergens trigger asthma and may worsen existing asthma.
What Causes Asthma During Pregnancy?
Although she did not have asthma before pregnancy, asthma may occur for the first time in the mother-to-be during pregnancy. This raises the question of ‘what causes asthma during pregnancy?’.
Although there is no specific cause, it is thought that hormonal changes that develop during pregnancy play a role in asthma. Especially progesterone hormone levels can be effective in the course of the disease.
In addition, the growing uterus and baby during pregnancy begin to compress the mother’s lungs by pressing and make it difficult for the mother to breathe and cause shortness of breath. This can lead to the development of asthma during pregnancy.
In general, it can be said by experts that the physiological and hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy can cause asthma.
Asthma Symptoms and Diagnosis of Asthma in Pregnancy
An average of 4% of all pregnancies suffers from asthma. In other words, 4 out of every 100 pregnant women have asthma. In order to distinguish whether they have asthma or not, expectant mothers should know the symptoms of the disease and observe well.
Possible symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in breathing
- Wheezing breathing
- Chest tightness
- Flu-related cough lasting at least 2 weeks
These symptoms may be more intense during pregnancy. Especially shortness of breath and wheezing are the most common asthma symptoms in pregnant women. However, these findings alone are not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis of the disease. Asthma can be diagnosed with a chest X-ray, various tests that measure respiratory functions, and allergy tests. At this stage, the doctor will determine the most appropriate diagnostic method for the expectant mother.
What Effects Does Asthma Have for Pregnant Women?
Asthma may not be bad in every pregnant woman. It was observed that one-third of all pregnant women with allergic asthma had a decrease in their complaints and one third had worsened, while the other third did not experience any change and the disease progressed at the same severity. The important thing here is to continue the treatment of the expectant mother and to keep the disease under control. Because asthma that is not well controlled can threaten both the baby and the mother by creating an unexpected asthma attack.
When asthma cannot be controlled, it may cause some risks for the expectant mother;
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Nausea and excessive vomiting during pregnancy
- Preeclampsia (Pregnancy poisoning)
- Increase in vaginal bleeding both before and after delivery
- Premature birth risk
- The obligation of cesarean delivery
- Placenta (Baby’s spouse) in front of the birth canal (Placenta previa)
- Increase in maternal mortality
Does Asthma During Pregnancy Affect the Baby?
The fact that a mother-to-be suffers from allergic asthma does not have a direct negative impact on the health of the baby. In other words, since the mother has asthma, the baby is not necessarily badly affected by this condition. For well-followed asthma cases, the development of the baby in the womb continues in its normal course.
However, possible asthma attacks cause insufficient blood flow to the uterus and a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood, resulting in the mother and the baby not getting enough oxygen.
As a result, in the baby;
- Low birth weight
- Growth retardation in the womb
- Low oxygen in newborn baby
- Premature baby birth (Premature birth)
- Infant death in the womb
Undesirable situations may occur.
How Is Asthma Treated During Pregnancy?
Considering the consequences of asthma attacks, allergic asthma must be treated during pregnancy. In addition, if there is an asthma problem before pregnancy, the possibility of an increase in complaints with the physical changes caused by pregnancy is quite high. This means that the disease must be followed and treated.
Asthma treatment during pregnancy is almost the same as for non-pregnant women. In addition to the use of the same type of drugs, the pregnant woman’s doctor tends to drug derivatives that have the least effect on the baby as much as possible. In particular, cortisone sprays used by inhalation and drugs that help to expand the narrowing airways are in the class considered safe during pregnancy and do not cause any side effects for the baby. For this reason, there is no problem with the regular use of asthma medications by expectant mothers. Your doctor will recommend the drug in the lowest possible dose that is suitable for you and your fetus. The important thing is to use these drugs without interruption and to prevent asthma attacks during pregnancy.