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"Women with allergies face fertility challenges: according to statistics"~ Dr. Antonio Giordano

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

It has been found, scientifically, that would-be mothers that suffer from allergic asthma have a longer conception time than the average pregnant woman.

Recent scientific studies have explored the deep correlation between allergies and fertility rates.

About 30% of the European population suffers from rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma caused mainly due to a hypersensitivity of the immune system to chemicals, pollen, spices, molds, animal hair, additives, and artificial or natural food substances.

It is interesting to study the impact on fertility of a woman with allergies if the reaction to an allergen provokes an immune response, causing local inflammation. Epidemiological studies have also attested that 15 to 20% of reproductive aged women, usually suffer from irregular or totally absent menstrual cycles.

One such study, which was conducted on 8,588 women in northern Europe, investigated the link between respiratory allergies and menstrual cycle irregularities. Therefore, it is possible to state on a scientific basis, expanding the research to the other areas, that women with allergic asthma have a longer conception time than non-asthmatic women.

This occurs mainly due to the reactivity of the sex hormones, especially estrogen; and interacting with allergic subjects in the environment leads to an increase in estrogen themselves. This determines the correlation between allergies and irregular menstrual cycles, and thus, also, the correlation between asthma and delay in conception.

The relationship between allergies and fertility rate, on the other hand, is not altered, although allergic women often experience irregular menstrual cycles. The time of conception for a woman with asthma is significantly higher than that of a non-asthmatic woman.

It has been demonstrated, with the help of long experimentation, that the conception time with these women remains greater than 1 year (27% of asthmatic women who participated in the tests compared to 21.6% of non-asthmatic women). Therefore, it is clear that chronic asthma inflammation has a greater impact on fertility and that the consequences of the inflammatory process of the lower airways affect the inflammation of the reproductive system; meaning an increase in estrogen, to be precise, caused due to excessive reactivity of the immune system.

Today we are witnessing a surge in the number of women suffering from infertility issues due to various factors that are related to the environment, age, and pollution. In this case, women over the age of 35 are being treated with asthmatic drugs. Such women could need additional care or, otherwise, a medically assisted procreation process; thus, the time of conception is further prolonged.

On the other hand, this does not happen in the case of women below the age of 35 years. In their cases, the severity of the chronic respiratory disease is kept under control. In this case, additionally, it is important to highlight how the worsening of the environmental conditions and air quality corresponds to an exacerbation of chronic respiratory diseases, and how it affects their lives and their fertility rate in general.

In conclusion, it is quite evident that there is a need for a change of direction, especially when it comes to dealing with pollution and protecting those who are at risk because of it, and implementing wise and far-sighted policies.

This blog was first published in Italian by Prof Antonio Giordano for La Voce Di New York, here's the link.

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