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Menstrual cycle influences respiratory symptoms

Respiratory symptoms vary significantly during different stages of the menstrual cycle, with higher frequencies during the mid-luteal to mid-follicular stages, according to a Norwegian study.

A total of 3,926 women with regular cycles who were not taking exogenous sex hormones were surveyed by researchers from Haukeland University Hospital.

Reported wheezing was higher on cycle days 10-22, with a mid-cycle dip near the putative time of ovulation. Shortness of breath was highest on days 7-21, with a dip just prior to mid-cycle. The incidence of cough was higher just after putative ovulation in those with asthma.

Lead author Ferenc Macsali said: “Our results point to the potential for individualising therapy for respiratory diseases according to individual symptom patterns. Adjusting asthma medication, for example, according to a woman’s menstrual cycle might improve its efficacy.”

The findings were due to be published online in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Readers' comments (3)

  • i have known this for years through my own experience as asthmatic and a woman except my breathing was worse on day 21-23

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  • Wonder how it affects mens respiratory patterns? There is certainly one week in four where they have to hold their breath!

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  • Some of the things my wife used to say to me would take my breath away !!!!!!!!!!!

    I didn`t think she knew such foul language.

    Thankfully, things are much better now since we`ve both had things "snipped" or removed entirely.

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