Asthma and pregnancy: therapeutic challenges

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2014 Oct;290(4):621-7. doi: 10.1007/s00404-014-3342-1. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Purpose: Asthma in pregnancy represents a complex therapeutic challenge as it can have unfavourable consequences on both the mother and the fetus. Pregnancy can have a variable impact on asthma, and there is no general rule to predict in whom is going to be better, stable or worse. On the other hand, asthma can increase the risks of fetal malformations, low birth weight or premature birth.

Methods and results: The review of the literature regarding the asthma pathogenic maternal and fetal effects and the current therapeutic recommendations.

Conclusions: A multidisciplinary team is needed to appropriately follow up a pregnant woman with asthma and this should involve a pulmonary disease physician, a neonatologist, an obstetrician and, if necessary, an allergolocist. Most of the medications used in asthma outside pregnancy can safely be used during it. An appropriate management according to existing guidelines can minimize both maternal and fetal risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukotriene Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Omalizumab
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Leukotriene Antagonists
  • Omalizumab