HAE issues for women
The normal fluctuations in hormonal levels at different stages in life can have an affect on the severity of HAE symptoms in women.
Attenuated androgens such as Danazol and Oxandrolone can be very helpful in reducing the number of HAE attacks in both men and women. They should not be used for children or adolescents or pregnant women. Many women tolerate low levels of these medications very well, but some women experience unacceptable side effects. It is important that you discuss the benefits and possible side effects of your medication with your doctor, and you should report any problems you might experience.
Your doctor will arrange regular liver function tests and scans while you are taking these medications.
Many girls experience their first HAE attacks in adolescence, or attacks get more frequent.
Birth control pills containing oestrogen should not be used as it may make your HAE symptoms worse. Progesterone based medication can be used.
Women seeking to become pregnant should discuss their HAE management with their HAE specialist.
Attenuated androgens such as Danazol and Oxandrolone should not be taken while trying for a baby or throughout pregnancy.
In pregnancy symptoms may lessen or they can become more frequent. Your HAE management may need to be reviewed and changed to cope with frequent attacks.
Some women report that symptoms lessen later in life. However, it remains important to always have a HAE management plan in place incase of an unexpected attack affecting the airway.