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Can Bronchitis Affect Pregnancy?

Bronchitis is quite a common infection of the respiratory system in which the airways that carry oxygen to and from the heart become inflamed. The inflammation of the airways causes excessive production of mucous resulting in persistent wet cough productive of greenish phlegm.

Bronchitis like other infections can be acute or chronic. Acute form of bronchitis has sudden onset of symptoms that may be moderate to severe in intensity. In addition to the wet productive cough, the affected individual may also have difficulty breathing, sore throat, chest pain, and body pain.

Can Bronchitis Affect Pregnancy?

Can Bronchitis Affect Pregnancy?

While there are medications that can treat bronchitis effectively, the picture becomes a bit complicated in pregnant females as there are quite a few medications that cannot be given during pregnancy.

The answer to the question whether bronchitis can affect pregnancy is, yes. Bronchitis is a condition which when develops in a pregnant female can rapidly progress to a severe form of a respiratory disorder like pneumonia.

In case if a pregnant female has persistent chest pains, hemoptysis, high grade fever, and difficulty breathing along with productive cough then it is recommended that the female goes to the nearest emergency room for treatment.

Since bronchitis can be caused by virus or bacteria, thus frontline treatment options generally include antibiotics and antivirals. However, care needs to be taken in cases of pregnant females as not all antibiotics or antivirals can be given during pregnancy.

Some of the antibiotics that are considered safe during pregnancy and are quite potent against bronchitis are

Tetracycline is a class of drugs that is not considered safe during pregnancy and hence should be avoided. The medications that come under the class of tetracyclines are doxycycline and minocycline.

In case if a virus is causing the infection, then the physician may opt a watch and wait approach as the symptoms generally fade away within a few days as the virus is eliminated by the immune system of the body.

However, if the symptoms are not improving after a few days then investigations may be conducted to identify a bacterial cause for Bronchitis in a pregnant female. 


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (2021). Influenza, Common Cold, and Respiratory Illness in Pregnancy. Link: https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2021/01/influenza-common-cold-and-respiratory-illness-in-pregnancy

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Chest (Acute Bronchitis) in Adults – Diagnosing and Treating. Link: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/bronchitis.html

  3. American Pregnancy Association. (2021). Antibiotics and Pregnancy. Link: https://americanpregnancy.org/medication/antibiotics-during-pregnancy/

  4. National Health Service (NHS). (2021). Bronchitis. Link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bronchitis/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 22, 2023

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