The human body works as directed by the various hormones released by the endocrine system. These hormones are essential for coordination of various body functions. From the height a person achieves to the metabolic reactions in the body to the reproductive cycle to the stress levels a person can handle, all are hormone controlled.
Pregnancy is another critical, complicated phase that a woman goes through. It is one of the most awaited phases in a woman’s life; however, it is not very simple either. The above-noted hormones play a major role in this pregnancy, as the baby is dependent on the mother for its initial supply of hormones until it can start producing its own hormones. If the baby does not receive the require amounts, there could be various detrimental effects during development and post birth.
Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid is extremely common in women and there are multiple theories about how hypothyroidism can affect a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. While the correlation between hypothyroidism and pregnancy are quite well researched, a strong connection stating hypothyroid women being not able to be pregnant is yet to be proven.
The following are some correlations between hypothyroidism and pregnancy.
Increased chance of miscarriage: Women with reduced thyroid functions have double the chances of having a miscarriage. Women suffering from thyroid are at a risk of recurrent miscarriages during the first trimester. The chances of miscarriages during the second trimester are also about 40% higher in hypothyroid women. These women are also at a risk of:
One of the reasons identified for infertility in women is hypothyroidism. This range varies from 1% to 40% and so remains to be proven still. In addition, the hypothyroid mother will have a set of symptoms to live through, which may be further complicated given the pregnancy. Thyroid replacement should be religiously done and monitored to ensure TSH levels are at the optimal required levels (2.5 to 3 mIU/L) during the entire duration of pregnancy.
If you have the following, be sure to go through a comprehensive thyroid screening before and during pregnancy.
While it still remains to be proven that hypothyroidism per se can stop a woman from being pregnant, there are definitely effects of hypothyroidism on the developing child and the mother. A comprehensive screening and close monitoring through pregnancy are extremely essential.
Do you have an extremely low reading of thyroxine or T4, it means that you are suffering from an under active thyroid disease called hypothyroidism. With this condition, your thyroid glands fail to make sufficient thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland releases hormones, which travel all over your bloodstream and affect all parts of the body. Thyroid controls how the cells of the body use energy from food via the metabolism process, which in turn affects the body’s temperature, heartbeat and burning of calories. Lack of thyroid hormones slows down the body’s functions, reduces your energy and the metabolism is disrupted.
Causes of hypothyroidism
The primary cause of this condition is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroiditis refers to an inflammation of your thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder in which extra antibodies are produced which destroy the thyroid gland. Viral infections may also lead to thyroiditis.
Other causes of the condition are as follows:
Risks factors of hypothyroidism
Usually women, especially older women are more likely to get hypothyroidism than men. The factors which determine if you are at a risk of acquiring the condition are as follows:
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are as follows:
If you observe the symptoms of hypothyroidism, you should consult a doctor who will prescribe several blood tests, such as the thyroid stimulating hormone test and the T4 or thyroxine test. Based on the results, a treatment method is adopted.