Women with asthma at risk of infertility, unless they use their preventer inhaler

A report published today [15 February 2018] by European Respiratory Journal shows that women with asthma who only use their blue reliever inhaler (and are not using their brown preventer inhaler as well) could take longer to become pregnant than other women. Dr Erika Kennington, Head of Research of Asthma UK, says:

“This study shines a light on how vital it is that people with asthma take their preventative brown inhaler. For the three million women* in the UK who have asthma, this will not only build up protection over time in their airways, preventing them from having a potentially fatal asthma attack, but this study suggests it also means their fertility will be less likely to be affected.

“At Asthma UK, we’d encourage everyone with asthma to take all their medicines including their preventer inhaler. We’d advise women with asthma who are trying for a baby, to ensure they get their asthma under control and to speak to their doctor if they don’t have a preventer inhaler.”


For further information, please contact:

Catherine Jones, Asthma UK

Phone number 0207 786 4949  (out of hours number 07951 721393)



Notes to Editors:

*Taken from data from Health Surveys for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

A preventer inhaler (usually brown) helps to prevent and reduce the swelling and inflammation in your airways. This means that if you come into contact with a trigger your lungs are less likely to react as they will be less sensitive. 

Reliever inhalers (usually blue) act quickly to give on-the-spot relief from asthma symptoms and asthma attacks, relaxing your airways very quickly.