Pregnancy and Fertility in Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders are now very common in both men and women. When left untreated, thyroid problems like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause hormonal imbalances, menstruation, weight, skin, infertility, and heart problems, more commonly in women. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, interference with ovulation (release of an egg), and an increase in the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key in managing thyroid health

An undiagnosed thyroid condition can make it difficult to conceive. It can also cause problems during pregnancy itself. Once the over- or underactive thyroid is under control, however, there is no reason why you should not have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby.

There are several complications to be aware of if you have (had) hyperthyroidism. There is, unfortunately, an increased risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy if your hyperthyroidism is not under control. If you are taking antithyroid drugs there is a very slight increased risk of the baby having developmental abnormalities so some patients choose to have definitive treatment for Graves’ disease with radioactive iodine or surgery to allow them to have a pregnancy without needing to take antithyroid drugs.

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