Dear women, do you have thyroid problems? Then, get them treated on an immediate basis. Thyroid issues can invite fertility problems in women. Ignoring your thyroid problems is a strict no, as they can steal your peace of mind. Hence, one will have to manage thyroid levels while planning pregnancy and seek appropriate help. On the occasion of thyroid awareness month, here we decode the relationship between thyroid health and infertility.
Dr. Karishma Dafle, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune, told HerZindagi that "thyroid disease is four to eight times more common in women when compared to men. There are two spectrums of it. One is hyperthyroidism when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine due to an overactive thyroid gland and it affects 5% of women.
"The symptoms can range from unexplained weight loss, poor appetite, difficulty in sleeping, fever, lighter menstrual cycles, and increased sweating. Another is hypothyroidism due to an underactive thyroid gland and the common symptoms are weight gain, fatigue, constipation, feeling cold, and heavy menstrual bleeding."
Dafle explains how undiagnosed thyroid problems cause infertility
Undiagnosed and untreated thyroid diseases can cause infertility as well as subfertility. These conditions can have important medical psychological implications on the female. Thyroid dysfunction affects fertility in many ways which can lead to luteal phase defect and anovulatory cycles.
Normal thyroid function is necessary for fertility, pregnancy and to sustain a healthy pregnancy even in the early days of conception. Thus, thyroid evaluation should be done in any women who want to get pregnant and has a family history of thyroid problem, has an irregular menstrual cycle, two or more miscarriages, and is unable to conceive after 1 year of unprotected intercourse.
Why It Is The Need Of The Hour To Evaluate Thyroid Health?
So, the evaluation of thyroid must include T3 Hormone, T4, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and also a thyroid autoimmune testing like thyroglobulin antibodies or thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies which are used as a tumor marker in order to monitor treatment of thyroid cancer and detect recurrence. It is not necessary that autoimmune testing will be included in the basic fertility workup.
A basic fertility workup will include TSH and prolactin because in hypothyroidism patients there are chances of hyperprolactinemia. Thus, thyroid levels should be corrected before treating any other cause of hyperprolactinemia. It is extremely important to diagnose and treat the clinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy as it is an independent risk factor in pregnancy that also leads to miscarriages.
Depending on the TSH levels, the infertile women are given a supplement of thyroxine. TSH value should be checked after every 4 to 6 weeks in pregnancy and an adequate dose should be maintained. The requirement of thyroid hormone may vary in pregnancy and each trimester. So, the importance of getting it evaluated after every 4-6 weeks should be emphasised.
Proactive screening of thyroid through blood test will allow the expert to find out about the thyroid condition which the woman suffers from.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on how you can and why you should track your health and what goes on in your body.