There are a number of factors that can influence your risk level for asthma, but oral contraceptives are not necessarily one of them.
A recent study found that overweight women who took oral contraceptives were much more likely to have asthma than either normal weight or lean women who also took contraceptives.
Does this mean that there is a link between oral contraceptive use and an increased risk for asthma? Not necessarily.
In some women, oral contraceptive use could affect preexisting risk factors, but the results of this study are far from conclusive. In fact, the health risks of a pregnancy are much greater than any perceived risk of contracting asthma from oral contraceptive use.
Doctors are recommending that women who are concerned continue taking their oral contraceptives and discuss any asthma symptoms with their physicians. Better ways to limit your risk of asthma and asthma attacks include:
- Avoid smoke and cigarette smoking (women who use oral contraceptives should not smoke)
- Avoid known allergens
- Minimize risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection (avoid people who are sick, wash your hands frequently, etc.)
- Eat foods naturally high in antioxidants and selenium