16.08.2014

Underactive thyroid and problems getting pregnant

Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a cause of health issues for many women. You have to keep in mind that thyroid problems do not make it impossible for a woman to get pregnant, but it can make it harder for her to track her cycles and to figure out when she is able to get pregnant.
Brittany lives in Kansas City, where she and her husband Austin are the proud parents of a newborn baby girl. In some cases, pregnancy can actually lessen the symptoms of thyroid disease, and you may be one of the many women who enjoy a nine-month respite from some of the undesirable effects of thyroid conditions. If I could urge women with thyroid disease who are contemplating pregnancy to do one thing, it would be to become educated about how thyroid dysfunction can affect fertility and pregnancy - and what to do about it. The increase in prolactin may be caused by an elevation of a hormone from the hypothalamus called TRH (or thyrotropin releasing hormone) that stimulates the pituitary gland to send out both prolactin and TSH.
Some women with hypothyroidism also have polycystic ovaries, or cysts on the ovaries, which hamper ovulation and can cause fertility problems as well. Yes, you should bother trying - there are many, many success stories (I happen to be one of them, as it only took a few months to get pregnant with my daughter). My endocrinologist at the time I was trying to get pregnant believed very firmly that most women with a thyroid problem should be maintained at a TSH level of between 1 and 2 in order to help them get pregnant -- and maintain the pregnancy.
Some women who have fertility problems actually have underlying autoimmune thyroid problems, but they and their doctors are not aware.
Many doctors do not appear to know about this link between antibodies and infertility, yet it is published in conventional research journals. Keep in mind that if you are monitoring your ovulation and cycle, and have your thyroid and TSH levels regulated, and you still don't get pregnant after the requisite six months to a year, you probably should consult with a fertility specialist for additional treatment and ideas.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland that sits in your throat, governing the way every cell in your body metabolizes energy.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at how the thyroid affects fertility when it gets too slow – and what you can do about it in a timely fashion.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where an underactive thyroid fails to produce enough hormones, and various body systems slow down. In terms of fertility, hypothyroidism can also contribute to implantation problems, miscarriage and decreased fetal IQ, if left unchecked during pregnancy.
Imbalances in the thyroid can have a direct effect on both becoming and staying pregnant.  If you have thyroid issues (or suspect you do), it’s best to have blood work done before trying to conceive, and to be monitored throughout your pregnancy.
Most people with an under-active thyroid will have some of the symptoms listed above.  A true diagnosis comes from blood tests that measure your thyroid hormones.


Synthetic thyroid hormone has been around a long time, and there are minimal side effects associated with short-term use. While stress is an unavoidable part of life, prolonged periods of extreme stress can wreak havoc on your thyroid.  If you are under a great deal of stress and trying to get pregnant, take a look at your life and see where you might be able to make some changes. Refined and processed foods cause stress in our bodies, and ultimately lead to disease.  Focus on a real food lifestyle and try to eliminate packaged and processed foods, sodas and other chemicals from your diet and beauty regiment. Iodine – Iodine is a mineral, and is vital for thyroid health and hormone production.
Bio-identical thyroid medications – Just like they sound, these meds are natural versions of thyroid hormones, and are viewed by the body as a virtually “identical” replacement for the stuff your own thyroid makes. Acupuncture does wonders for reducing stress, supporting the thyroid and promoting fertility. However, not many people know that hypothyroidism can also be a cause of fertility problems. Luckily, seeking treatment for your thyroid issues will also make it easier for you to get pregnant, so if you think that you are having thyroid problems, visit your doctor right away to discuss what your treatment options are. If you have hypothyroidism and you are trying to get pregnant, you should definitely get an ovulation predictor kit or a basal body thermometer so that you can figure out when you ovulation is occurring.
Clinically proven to dramatically increase your chances of conception and help you get pregnant fast from the very first use. You can subscribe to their lively and entertaining YouTube Channel to follow along on their journey.
Read all you can, ask questions, and urge your doctors to perform the necessary blood tests to keep your levels in check. Rubenfeld said that "the mechanisms by which thyroid problems interfere with fertility are often unknown, but there is no question that other aspects of thyroid function affect fertility." For example, Dr. Common symptoms can include fatigue, feeling cold, weight gain, sluggishness, depression, constipation, thinning hair, dry skin and irregular menstruation. If you’re doctor thinks you’re nuts for asking about this, get a second opinion, especially if you’ve had trouble conceiving or staying pregnant. Keep in mind that your thyroid will likely need an extra boost once you are pregnant, so be sure to be monitored throughout.
Iodine can be found in certain foods, especially sea vegetables and fish, and can also be taken in both a pill and liquid form.  If you have an autoimmune thyroid condition, check with your doctor before taking iodine. I would caution that a TSH test is a pituitary hormone test, not a thyroid test so it isn’t often very accurate.


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Miscarriages, premature births, and intrauterine growth retardation can occur when the disorder goes undiagnosed or untreated. Sheldon Rubenfeld, a practicing thyroidologist, and Founding Chairman of the Thyroid Society for Education and Research, fairly common problems caused by thyroid dysfunction are anovulation (no ovulation, or release of an egg) and menstrual irregularities. Rubenfeld said that hypothyroidism can cause an increase in prolactin, the hormone produced by the pituitary gland that induces and maintains the production of breast milk in a post-partum woman. A TSH of .9 is a far cry from the so-called "normal" TSH levels of 3 or 4 or 5 that some doctors feel are no impediment whatsoever to getting -- or staying -- pregnant. You can learn how to use basal temperature and other fertility signs to chart your monthly hormonal cycle. Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism can also develop high blood pressure, and are at greater risk of heart conditions.While a thyroid condition can sometimes complicate the process of getting - or staying - pregnant, the good news is that when your disease is properly managed, most of you with thyroid conditions -- whether hypothyroid or hyperthyroid -- can have a safe, uneventful pregnancy and delivery. A shortened luteal phase can cause what appears to be infertility, but is in fact failure to sustain a fertilized egg, with loss of the very early pregnancy at around the same time as menstruation would typically begin.
In 1994, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at pregnant women with thyroid antibodies and TSH in the normal range.
Taking your medications, keeping your thyroid levels -- including TSH and T4 -- under control, getting regular care with a specialist familiar with treating pregnant thyroid patients, and taking charge of your own health appears to be key to a successful outcome. The study found that women with autoimmune thyroid disease had TSH values significantly higher, though still normal, in the first trimester than in women with healthy pregnancies used as controls.
Thanks to this article, I have intentions on reaching out more “holistically” to get the the root of my problem! I write from my heart about topics that move me, and share recipes that will nourish your soul. I spent quite a bit of time nearly comatose before I finally found a doctor who knew to test my thyroid hormones instead of my pituitary.



Baby oil pregnancy
Second pregnancy at age 39


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