All human beings have a thyroid gland, which produces thyroid hormones. Not producing enough of these hormones is called hypothyroidism.
Although hypothyroidism is a common condition – 1 in every 100 fertile women have it – it’s often left untreated because the symptoms go unnoticed. According to specialists, sometimes women confuse hypothyroidism with stress or depression. Since the symptoms are subtle, it can be ignored for a long time.
Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to all the symptoms. Especially pay attention to how regular your menstrual cycle is. This is definitely a sign that your hormones are out of control.
Hypothyroidism Can Affect Fertility
There are many ways that hypothyroidism can affect pregnancy. One of them is that it can prevent the egg from being fertilized. In fact, this condition is considered one of the causes of infertility in women.
Their bodies don’t have enough thyroid hormones and can’t produce enough eggs. As a result, anovulation, the term for when there eggs aren’t being released, prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg because there isn’t an egg to be fertilized.
Hypothyroidism also causes irregularity in your period. This is often one of the symptoms that makes women realize they have this condition.
It Can Also Affect Pregnancy
Although hypothyroidism can affect fertility, there are women with this condition who can still become pregnant.
However, it can cause problems with the development of pregnancy. Hypothyroidism increases the chance of miscarriage during the first three months. It also increases the risk that the mother will have high blood pressure while pregnant.
Importance of Thyroid Hormones in Pregnancy
During the first trimester, the mother’s thyroid hormones fully nourish the baby. Once these first three months have passed – which are the most delicate – the baby will begin to produce his or her own thyroid hormones.
However, the baby will need nutrients from the mother throughout the whole pregnancy. The mother’s body helps the baby grow in a healthy way. In this sense, we recommend that pregnant women with hypothyroidism consume enough iron. It’s vital to produce thyroid hormones.
Treating Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition, like diabetes, for example. This means that it doesn’t have a cure, but it’s controllable.
Its treatment, whether you’re pregnant or not, consists of replacing the thyroid hormone with synthetic levothyroxine. Your endocrinologist will prescribe you the best dose and treatment. This is the specialist that will treat your hormonal condition.
- Many medical associations recommend that women who want to become pregnant have tests done for thyroid problems. They may find either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
- Women with goiter should have tests done to monitor their condition. This is a symptom of an enlarged thyroid gland.
- It’s important that women who control their hypothyroidism check their hormone levels before getting pregnant. Your doctor is the only one who can make sure you have good hormone balance.
- If you’re pregnant and have this condition, go to the doctor as soon as possible. They will help you treat and manage it during this new phase of your life.
- Try not to worry too much. With proper treatment, you and your baby will be healthy.
Of course, to make sure everything goes well, take the medication your doctor prescribes you. Remember to bring your medicine with you, even when you go on vacation.