Can a woman with a thyroid disorder get pregnant? The answer is yes, as long as she takes the right precautions. However, there are certain factors that may influence her chances of getting pregnant and being healthy during pregnancy. Here’s our list of the most important things to know about hypothyroidism and pregnancy.
About Thyroid Disease
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and produces hormones that help regulate your metabolism. Your thyroid gland also controls how fast your body grows and how fast you lose weight. If your thyroid isn't working properly, it can affect your health in many ways. You may feel tired, have trouble losing weight, or have menstrual problems.
Role of thyroid hormones in pregnancy
Thyroid hormones are essential for normal fetal development. They also play a key role in the health of the mother and child. During pregnancy, thyroid hormones go up and help to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The fetus also has thyroid hormones, which are produced by the placenta and are necessary for normal growth and development.
According to research on 400 women group, almost suffering from infertility, 24% of participants were found to have hypothyroidism — but within a year of treatment, 76% were able to conceive.
Which thyroid hormones should be tested in Pregnancy?
Thyroid testing is an important part of a woman's routine check-up during pregnancy. It's important to check your thyroid because it plays a role in your baby's brain and nervous system development.
The best way to check thyroid disease is a TSH blood test, that shows the thyroid hormone levels in your body. When your thyroid levels are low, your body will begin to experience symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating. Your doctor may recommend a TSH blood test if you have any of these symptoms.
The TSH range during pregnancy in India is one of the early Indian reports on reference ranges for TSH states values of 0.6–5.0 mIU/L in the first, 0.44–5.78 mIU/L in the second, and 0.74–5.7 mIU/L in the third trimester.
What is Hyperthyroidism? Its Symptoms & Causes
Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. Hyperthyroidism can cause:
- Premature birth
- Low birthweight
- Preeclampsia—a dangerous rise in blood pressure in late pregnancy
- Thyroid storm—a sudden, severe worsening of symptoms
- Congestive heart failure
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy are usually noticed by the woman during the second trimester. These symptoms include:
- unexpected weight loss
- Rapid heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased appetite
- Anxiety and nervousness
- A slight tremor in the hands or fingers
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- An enlarged thyroid (or goiter)
- Skin thinning and brittle hair
What is Hypothyroidism? Its Symptoms & Causes
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It is a common condition that can affect women of all ages, and it occurs in about 5% of women of childbearing age.
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Hair loss
- Dry skin and Eyes
- Cold intolerance
- Joints pain or swelling
Untreated hypothyroidism in pregnancy can cause:
- preeclampsia—a dangerous rise in blood pressure in late pregnancy anemia
- low birthweight
- congestive heart failure, rarely
Treatment of thyroid during pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, you need to make sure that you’re getting enough iodine. Iodine is an important mineral for your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. Without enough iodine, your thyroid won’t work properly.
You can get iodine from the foods you eat like dairy foods, seafood, eggs, meat, poultry, and iodized salt—salt with added iodine. Your doctor can tell you how much iodine you need. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a thyroid hormone medication to help with your symptoms.