Doctor, Does thyroid hormone affect fertility and pregnancy?

Thyroid hormone disturbance is very common in women than in men. And it constitutes between 3 to 10 percent out of every 100 women. In the area of reproductive medicine, the common hormones we check are the thyroid hormone, the prolactin hormone and in the ovarian reserves, we check the AMH levels. Here I’ll be talking about the role of the thyroid hormone. When excessive, it is called hyperthyroidism and if it is deficient, it is called hypothyroidism. If a woman has hypothyroidism, it affects the menstrual cycle and also affects ovulation which in turn affects fertility. 

That means a woman who has a deficiency of thyroid hormone, will have ovulation problems which can delay conception. The other impacts of this thyroid hormone are if we don’t diagnose a thyroid problem, it can also affect the neurological development of the baby. so in the last decade, there has been a lot of importance in testing TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone.TSH increases in hypothyroidism and the accuracy of these tests will depend on the type of diagnostic techniques used. Essentially there are three generations of technology. 

The third generation which has an accuracy of 0.1 million units per liter is done at Krishna IVF using the VIDAS technology. Once you have a diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction then either your reproductive medicine person or your gynecologist or your physician or endocrinologist will ask you to take a tablet called thyroxine and the dose is determined by your weight and the amount of thyroid deficiency that is there. The most important thing when you’re taking a thyroid tablet is you should take it in the morning and avoid taking thyroid tablets along with iron tablets or calcium tablets as it affects the absorption. 

Once you start taking thyroid tablets, at the end of six to eight weeks you should check whether the amount of drug that is given to replace your hormones is adequate by checking the TSH hormone which is also known as a thyroid-stimulating hormone. Free t4 levels are also checked to accurately adjust the dosage. When levels are normal, a lot of people mistake that they can stop the thyroid tablet but the answer is no. 

They have been corrected adequately and they should continuously use it and see the physician once in six months for evaluation. In pregnant women, if they are already having a thyroid disturbance, a dose adjustment is needed every three months throughout the pregnancy since the development of the baby might be affected. 

So even though the thyroid looks very common, it is a very sensitive hormone, a very important hormone, and one should use it regularly and have it monitored regularly so that you get the full benefit of the treatment. Unlike deficiency of the hormone, the thyroid hormone excess generally does not affect infertility but affects the pregnancy. So, the management of excess thyroid hormone is also important during pregnancy. It can be diagnosed easily by the TSH estimation, and it can be corrected easily tablets.

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