Thyroid hormones are produced by everyone and play a critical role in growth. As a result, they are crucial during pregnancy. When the thyroid is overactive or underactive, it can interfere with ovulation regulation and reduce fertility. Thyroid hormone levels must be optimal for conception to occur, infertility treatments such as IVF to be successful, and for a pregnancy to be viable. If you have an untreated thyroid gland, it will be difficult to conceive. However, once you begin treatment and your thyroid hormone levels return to normal, your chances of becoming pregnant should increase dramatically.
The thyroid can malfunction in one of three ways:
Too much thyroid hormone caused by hyperthyroidism can affect fertility by:
Normalizing thyroid hormone levels in women can aid in the correction of menstrual or ovarian problems that may be contributing to infertility. Many women suffer from thyroid dysfunction; approximately 25% of women experience it during their lifetime, which is approximately four times the number of men. Hyperthyroidism – or an overactive thyroid gland – is associated with fertility problems. Thyroid disorders, in addition to impairing fertility, also cause reproductive problems. For example, hyperthyroidism is also associated with irregular menstruation. Even in men, hyperthyroidism can result in a decrease in sperm count, which can result in infertility. Once the condition is treated, it returns to normal.
Aside from diagnosis and medication, there are some lifestyle changes that can be made to ensure proper thyroid function. High cortisol (a stress hormone) levels inhibit thyroid hormone production, so reducing stress is critical. Increased exercise is also beneficial because it promotes thyroid hormone production and increases tissue sensitivity to these hormones. Thyroid dysfunction is also caused by modern diets, particularly refined grains, sugars, soy products, peanuts, and caffeine. It is therefore recommended that you eat a healthy diet and refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol.
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When you’re planning a pregnancy, you should tell the doctor and, ideally, get a blood test done before getting pregnant. TSH levels in some people are elevated over the normal reference range, even while free thyroxine (fT4) levels are within the normal range. If detected early enough, treatment can be initiated to prevent further complications. Doctors say the treatment is quite straightforward and safe to be carried out during pregnancy. The medication is administered based on the patient’s weight and blood tests are performed to monitor the patient’s progress.
While thyroid conditions can make fertility more difficult, they do not make it impossible. To begin, properly regulating your thyroid levels usually resolves any thyroid-related fertility issues. Seek the care of a specialist at PFRC. For accurate test results performed with the latest in diagnostic technology by trained professionals, book an appointment with PFRC today.