According to a recent study researchers say , moms-to-be who are carrying girls are more likely to experience a worsening of their asthma than pregnant asthmatic women carrying boys. Doctors speculate female fetuses may produce a substance in response to the inflammation of the mother's airways that somehow worsens the woman's pre-existing asthma.
Researchers found 60 percent of asthmatic women who were pregnant with boys were symptom-free throughout their pregnancy and did not report nighttime breathing problems from the 18th week to the 30th week of pregnancy. On the other hand, 61 percent of women carrying girls were symptom-free at 18 weeks but by the 30th week only 28 percent remained symptom-free. Also, these women said their nighttime symptoms increased significantly from 18 weeks to 30 weeks.
It was observed that most of the participants who were asthmatic reported using inhaled steroids every day. Doctors say inhaled steroids are generally considered safer for the fetus than oral steroids, and they can effectively control the inflammation in the airways caused by asthma. The use of inhaled steroids increased significantly in women carrying girls but did not change in women carrying boys.
Researchers say it is important for women to control their asthma during pregnancy because if a mother has a severe asthma attack, it can result in reduced oxygen to the baby, which is needed for normal growth and development.