What is hypothyroid?
The thyroid gland has an impact on almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can vary from a small, harmless goiter that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone will lead to hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.
How hypothyroid affects your conception
Your doctor will want to check your thyroid levels first. Here are some effects of hypothyroid on your conception:
- Anovulatory cycles – not releasing an egg / ovulating. This makes pregnancy impossible.
- Luteal Phase Problems – With a short second half of the menstrual cycle a fertilized egg can’t implant securely and ends up leaving the body at the same time that menstruation would occur (very early miscarriage) & is often mistaken as a regular period.
- High Prolactin Levels – due to elevated levels of Thyroid Releasing Hormone (TRH) and low levels of Thyroxine (T4) resulting in irregular ovulation or no ovulation.
- Other Hormonal Imbalances – reduced sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), oestrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency, all of which interfere with proper reproductive hormone balance.
If your levels are too low, you have hypothyroidism and may not be ovulating as you should. Taking the right dose of thyroxine, the hormone you lack, can restore your fertility.
What you should do
You may discover your underactive thyroid while trying to get pregnant. Your doctor may check your hormone levels when you are having problems conceiving. You may also notice other symptoms of hypothyroidism such as exhaustion, depression and putting on a lot of weight.
If your thyroid levels are too low then your doctor will recommend you to replace the thyroxine hormone you are lacking.
Once you’ve conceived, you’ll need thyroxine to help your body to adapt to all the changes that pregnancy brings because your baby’s developing brain also needs the hormone. If you suffer badly from morning sickness, you should change the time when you take your tablets. Always ask your doctor if you need more advice.
As your pregnancy progresses, chances are that your need for thyroxine will rise dramatically. It may even double. Your doctor will want to check your levels every four weeks for the first three months, then again at 16 weeks and 28 weeks.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: August 25, 2016 | Last Modified: August 30, 2017
Understanding thyroid problems. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/understanding-thyroid-problems-basics. Accessed August 25, 2016.
Is poor thyroid function impacting your fertility. http://www.pregnancy.com.au/resources/topics-of-interest/preconception/is-poor-thyroid-function-impacting-your-fertility.shtml. Accessed August 25, 2016.
How does an underactive thyroid affect conceiving and pregnancy? http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x552788/how-does-an-underactive-thyroid-affect-conceiving-and-pregnancy. Accessed August 25, 2016.