Thursday, September 28, 2017

What's the thyroid got to do with it? The connection between thyroids and fertility


If you are trying for a baby and haven't been having luck, you should get your thyroid checked out. In fact, I suggest that BEFORE you try to get pregnant you ask your lady parts doc to run a thyroid panel. Why you ask? Well, there is sometimes a link between a hypothyroidism (when your thyroid isn't working up to speed) and infertility. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in your neck that makes a bunch of hormones that regulate everything from how quickly you burn calories to your heartbeat. It also produces the hormones needed for menstruation (your period) and sexual function.  A normally working thyroid is super important for getting pregnant and staying pregnant.

A study in 2015 found that almost 25% of infertile women had a low functioning thyroid, or hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid doesn't produce enough of certain hormones, which can screw up with the release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation). Also, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism may also make it hard to get pregnant. The good news is that after treating for hypothyroidism (usually taking hormone therapy to correct thyroid levels), over 75% of women were able to get pregnant.

Since you can be having thyroid problems and not even know it (many women have no symptoms), asking for a simple blood test can save you a lot of aggravation later on.  Treatment for a wacky thyroid is pretty safe and easy, and can fix the problem within weeks. One thing to note, that while thyroid function may come back within normal range, in order to get pregnant and maintain a pregnancy, your thyroid levels need to be within a smaller range. Make an appointment with your lady parts doctor to get yourself checked out, and if need be, an endocrinologist can also be a great resource. 

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