Thyroid Infertility - Stopping You Conceive?
Thyroid infertility occurs when the hormones produced by the thyroid gland are out of sync with other hormones, such as those governing the menstrual cycle, ovulation and reproduction. Usually this involves the immune system attacking the thyroid gland.
Once this has been diagnosed, your chances of getting pregnant greatly increase. But doctors often overlook this condition because sometimes the symptoms of a thyroid disorder are not always easy to diagnose.
The thyroid is situated in the lower neck and has the shape not unlike a butterfly and produces several hormones most importantly thyroxin and trilodothyronine or T4 and T3, as they are known respectively.
Females with this condition will have either an under-active thyroid known as ‘hypothyroid’ or an overactive thyroid known as ‘hyperthyroid’ and may well find that getting pregnant can be problematic either way.
This is due to thyroid abnormalities affects the ability for eggs to be released. Other effects include irregular menstrual cycles or even short menstrual cycles. Having low or high thyroid levels can raise prolactin levels (hormone controlling milk production in breastfeeding) having a high prolactin level tend to prevent ovulation, although it is easily diagnosed with a blood test.
When you visit your doctor with symptoms they should test your blood. When your blood is tested, some doctors will also put it in for immune testing, some tests are standard and others are done by doctors specializing in immune disorders. Always ask for a TSH (thyroid stimulating Hormone) test, ensure it has the full panel of thyroid levels and it must include a Free T4 (thyroxine and thyroid antibodies) test.
IMPORTANT: When receiving the results of the TSH test ask for the actual number, it is a numerical number the normal range is between 0.5 -5.5; but here is the rub which most doctors are not aware of. If your number is higher then 2.0 it is suspected by many endocrinologists that you have a thyroid disease which may impact on your ability to conceive or having a pregnancy going full term. If your result is normal to high and your doctor is unwilling to treat you for your fertility issues due to this, find a doctor or endocrinologist who has a good success rate treating the condition thyroid infertility. Finally make sure you are ovulating by using an ovulation predictor.
Although some doctors do disagree with some tests for this condition, as they believe the evidence is not fully conclusive yet, a lot of doctors feel it is invaluable in diagnosing thyroid infertility. Once they have established the condition and severity they are then able to go forward in treating it for a positive outcome.
Another of the tests your blood may undergo is an ATA (antithyroglobulin antibodies), which assesses thyroid function. As the thyroid is so important in maintaining your hormonal balance antibodies will disrupt the thyroids function to cause egg production problems. To address this thyroid infertility it is often treated with a course of hormone replacement tablets called Levothyroxine to raise your thyroxine levels. You would be on this for life but with careful management you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
Overall, the best way to cure thyroid infertility is to achieve is ‘euthyroid’ which means that your thyroid is balanced. Let’s remember that thyroid problems are very common, with one out of eight females being diagnosed with thyroid problems at some time in their lives; men can have thyroid disorders too, but females are five to eight times more likely to have thyroid problems, so thyroid infertility can occur in both sexes.
Symptoms of thyroid infertility:
A thyroid that is hypoactive usually manifests itself by the patient experiencing some of the symptoms below:
- Dry skin.
- Hair loss and brittle nails.
- Gaining weight.
- Heavy or irregular periods
Other symptoms include ovulatory problems and repeated miscarriages. It happens as the thyroid gland is under performing and cannot produce enough of the thyroxin hormone. When the thyroid gland in under performing the hypothalamus gland increases the production of thyroid releasing hormone (TRH), which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to increase the production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your body helping the thyroid back into balance.
As TRH also stimulates the pituitary gland to release prolactin in higher quantities, a higher level of prolactin suppresses the release of follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) interfering with the menstrual cycle and ovulation and the result is thyroid infertility.
A thyroid that is hyperactive, usually becomes apparent when the patient shows weight loss, perspiring more than usual, is in an anxious state at times, has a rapid heart rate, menstrual irregularities, tiredness and sometimes has diarrhoea. Beta-blockers are often prescribed for heart problems along with anti-thyroid medication. These take several months to have effect, usually once every 8 hours and require frequent visits to your doctor for bloods to be taken and may loose effectiveness over time plus costs a fortune into the deal, not to mention the side effects.
Hyperthyroidism has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cyst formation leading to infertility and ovarian dysfunction.
Thyroid Infertility in Women and Men.
Ovarian failure is the principal cause of infertility in women with thyroid disorders e.g. hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. How it works is that white blood cells antibody production attack cells that produce sex hormones, which leads to premature ovarian failure and infertility. Hyperthyroidism has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cyst formation leading to infertility and ovarian dysfunction.
Women may experience increase rate of miscarriage, lack of ovulation or even irregular periods. Whilst men with thyroid problems can have a low sperm count and poor motility, plus hypothyroidism also tends to lower their libido.
What to do to Cure my Thyroid Infertility.
Thyroid imbalances can be treated by a course of medication taken daily usually anti-thyroids as already mentioned, the doses may have to be adjusted if you become pregnant. Some patients undergo radiation therapy, but in the most severe of cases surgery maybe possible.
But What are Your Other Options?
Your other option in curing this condition is you take control yourself to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If you have been diagnosed with thyroidism and as you know that thyroid and infertility are connected. One of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant fast is to learn more about the
stopping your problems at source. Curing your thyroid infertility is reviewing the foods that you eat that can be affect the functioning of your thyroid gland. You discover what foods you should eat and shouldn’t eat so that you regain the right hormonal balance and support of your thyroid gland, making you feel back to old self, full of energy and able to get pregnant! It is quite easy to follow, once you have clicked here to end your thyroid infertility.
But the overall objective of this page is that you gain the knowledge that enables you to combat your thyroid infertility.
To do this your key learns should be the following:
- Understand the common symptoms and causes of thyroid disease.
- Understanding the diagnosis of a thyroid blood test.
- The treatment of your thyroid condition and natural thyroid medicine.
- To Enable you to take control of your
by following a good diet and increasing your chances of conceiving.
- Follow your doctor's advice