Exogenous estrogen or progesterone may positively or negatively impact a woman's asthma.
Sources of exogenous hormones:
(1) oral contraceptives
(2) postmenopausal hormone replacement
Some women will experience a reduction in asthmatic symptoms when receiving these agents. These patients may benefit from ongoing hormone replacement, especially if they have severe asthma or difficult-to-manage asthma.
Other women may experience worsening of asthma when receiving these agents. These patients may need to avoid these agents or use a reduced dose.
Oral contraceptive therapy may be beneficial for a woman experiencing pre-menstrual exacerbations of asthma by controlling the swing in hormone levels.
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