Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy is a challenging condition as having thyroid disease (Hypothyroidism) can impact woman fertility, as well as the treatment plan once she gets pregnant.
Level of the thyroid is very crucial during pregnancy because it regulates the production of the thyroid hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), both of which play a very important role in the development of baby’s brain and nervous system.
When a lady has been diagnosed with thyroid disease, she should be regularly monitored throughout your entire period of pregnancy.
If she has symptoms of a thyroid condition but hasn’t been diagnosed, it’s important to let the doctor know so that she can be properly monitored and treated to keep both mother and baby healthy.
Hypothyroidism and pregnancy
Hypothyroidism affects the women’s entire body. Level of the thyroid is responsible for many of the body’s daily functions, such as metabolism, heartbeat, and temperature control.
When the body doesn’t produce enough amount of thyroid hormone, all of these functions can slow.
Women who have hypothyroidism and want to become pregnant can face a particular set of challenges.
Low thyroid function or we can say uncontrolled hypothyroidism during pregnancy can cause:
Women with thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism can and very often do have healthy pregnancies.
If women have hypothyroidism and are pregnant, it’s important to keep the following things in mind during the time you’re expecting:
Keep yourself on current medicine
Continue to take your medication as prescribed by the doctor. It’s common to go for frequent testing so the doctor can make any necessary adjustments to the thyroid medication as your pregnancy progresses.
Many women can develop hypothyroidism disease during they’re pregnant. This occurs in 3 to 5 out of every 1,000 pregnancies.
Some doctors routinely examine thyroid levels during pregnancy to monitor the low thyroid hormone levels. If the levels are lower than they should be, your doctor can suggest medication or alternative treatment.
Some women who never had thyroid condition before they were pregnant may develop them after having a baby. This condition is called postpartum thyroiditis.
In about 80% of women, the condition resolves after a couple of months or year, and medication is no longer required.
Approximately 20% of women who have diagnosed with this condition will go on to require long-term therapy.
Your body requires more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while you’re pregnant. Eating a well-balanced diet and taking multivitamins while you’re pregnant can help maintain a healthy and safe pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism: A Woman’s Guide to Fertility and Pregnancy
A 2012 study in the Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research found that 2 to 4% of childbearing age ladies have low thyroid hormone levels.
This means there are a lot of women who are affected by fertility issues due to hypothyroidism.
Keep reading to find out how having hypothyroidism can lead to risks before, during, and after childbirth.
Hypothyroidism and low thyroid hormone levels can affect various aspects of menstruation and ovulation.
Having low levels of thyroxine, or T4, or elevated thyroid-releasing hormone (TRH) results in to high prolactin levels. This condition can cause either no egg to release during ovulation or an irregular egg release and difficulty conceiving.
Hypothyroidism disease can also cause a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle. This will not allow a fertilized egg enough time to attach to the womb.
It can also responsible for high thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies, low basal body temperature, and ovarian cysts, which can result in pregnancy loss or an inability to become pregnant.
You should have your TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and T4 levels monitored prior to becoming pregnant. This is must if you have low thyroid hormones already or have had a prior miscarriage.
High-risk factors can be a family history of thyroid problems or any other autoimmune disease.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are quite similar to early pregnancy symptoms. Hypothyroid symptoms in early pregnancy can include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty concentrating
The treatment of hypothyroidism during pregnancy is typically the same as prior to conception. However, it’s important to inform the doctor as soon as you turn pregnant so you can receive the proper treatment and dosage can be adjusted if necessary.
Your doctor will check the TSH level every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure your hormones are in the appropriate range.
Your thyroid hormone needs increases during the pregnancy to support the baby and yourself.
It’s also very important to note that your prenatal vitamin contains iron and calcium, which can elevate how the body uses thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
You can avoid this problem by taking thyroid replacement medicine and prenatal vitamin 4 to 5 hours apart.
Your doctor will require to use special care to treat hypothyroidism condition during the pregnancy.
If not properly treated or controlled, it can cause:
- Maternal anemia
- Increase in maternal blood pressure
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- Low infant birth weight
- Premature birth
- Uncontrolled symptoms can also affect your baby’s growth and brain development.
After giving birth, postpartum thyroiditis is a very common condition. Ladies with autoimmune thyroid disease develop this complication more often.
Postpartum thyroiditis commonly begins in the first 3 to 6 months after giving birth. This condition lasts for a few weeks to months.
Few of the symptoms are hard to distinguish from the struggles associated with becoming a new mother.
The symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis can occur in 2 stages:
In the first stage:
Your symptoms can look like hyperthyroidism disease. For example, you feel nervous, cranky, have a pounding heartbeat, trouble with heat, sudden weight loss, fatigue, or difficulty sleeping.
In the second stage,
The hypothyroid symptoms back. You may feel no energy, trouble with cold temperatures, constipation, aches and pains, dry skin, and problems thinking clearly.
Hypothyroidism can also affect a mother’s milk production but with proper hormone replacement therapy, this problem can be resolved.
You should discuss to the doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant and have underlying thyroid disease or autoimmune disease or prior pregnancy complications.
Your doctor can prescribe certain tests and prepares a healthy pregnancy plan. The earlier you can prepare, the better your chances for healthy, safe and successful pregnancy.