OC pill 'not linked' to childhood asthma

USING oral contraceptives before pregnancy is not linked to respiratory problems including asthma in children, according to a large Norwegian study.

The research contrasts with several previous studies suggesting a mother’s oral contraceptive use may increase asthma risk in her offspring, possibly due to progestin-containing contraceptives pre-pregnancy influencing fetal respiratory and immune development.

The new study looked at the type of oral contraceptives used by mothers before pregnancy and their association with lower respiratory tract infections in about 60,000 offspring followed to age six months, infections and wheezing in 42,500 followed to age 18 months, and asthma in nearly 24,500 followed to age three years.

Taking oestrogen-progestin combined pills before pregnancy was not associated with respiratory infections, wheezing or asthma in children, the study found.

Progestin-only pill use in the year before pregnancy had a