Nearly half of women with asthma report worsening asthma symptoms during their menstrual cycle. Just before and during your period, levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen decrease, and these hormone changes may cause worsening asthma symptoms in some women.
Other changes in hormone levels may also worsen or improve asthma symptoms:
* Menopause. It appears that dropping hormone levels associated with menopause may make asthma symptoms worse for some women.
* Irregular periods. Women with irregular periods may be more likely to have worse than normal asthma symptoms.
* Birth control medications. Because birth control pills and shots reduce hormone fluctuations, they may help with asthma symptoms in some women whose asthma symptoms seem linked to periods. However, more research is needed to determine how birth control medications affect asthma.
* Hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement with estrogen and progesterone may have an effect on asthma, but more research is needed in this area.