Thyroid and Infertility

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Thyroid and Infertility!

The thyroid gland is a small structure on the central part of the neck. It feels like two flat, small lobes pressed against the trachea.

For such a small gland, it has a huge job. Nearly every part of the body depends upon the thyroid to function properly. And a healthy pregnancy depends upon the thyroid as well.

Glands, like the thyroid, produce hormones that are released throughout the body via the bloodstream. They tell the cells of the body what to do. The influence of the hormone elicits a response by the tissue.

How does hypothyroid effect fertility?

Underactive thyroid can cause anovulation (or no ovulation) or can cause an elevation in prolactin. When prolactin—the hormone that brings in a woman’s milk--is high, pregnancy is prevented.

How does hyperthyroid effect fertility?

It is not well understood, but overactive thyroid is linked to miscarriage and infertility. It is suspected that it metabolizes progesterone too quickly rendering it unavailable where needed during pregnancy.

This is why thyroid hormone supplements for hypothyroid can tip the situation in the other direction. Either way, there is an effect on fertility or the ability to hold a pregnancy.

Symptoms of hypothyroid are fatigue, depression, weight gain, irregular periods, a sense of being cold, dry skin, forgetfulness, infertility and miscarriage.

Symptoms of hyperthyroid are irritability, tremors, thinning/aging skin, weakness, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, and light or absent periods.

If you are suspecting that you are infertile, see your doctor for a thyroid evaluation along with an infertility workup.

Dr. Christine Strong, NMD

Thyroid and Infertility

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