Health & Medical Allergies & Asthma

Oral Contraceptives May Help Treat Asthma

´╗┐Oral Contraceptives May Help Treat Asthma Nov. 6, 2009 -- Treatment with oral contraceptives may benefit premenopausal women with asthma, even if their asthma symptoms are not strongly linked to their monthly menstrual cycles, early research suggests.

In a small but rigorously designed study, researchers from the University of Alberta confirmed that fluctuating levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone have a direct impact on markers of airway inflammation.

Oral contraceptives are already used as a complementary asthma treatment in women whose symptoms are closely tied to their menstrual cycles.

The new research suggests a much broader group of women may also benefit, study researcher Piush J. Mandhane, MD, PhD, tells WebMD.

"Until now, we did not have the data to show that estrogen and progesterone influence asthma," he says. "Now we have it and it opens up new areas of inquiry for the management of asthma in women."


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