Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance
A fabulous article from a colleague of Meta Health on Infertility, and Thyroid Imbalance from Nurturing Naturally
Thyroid imbalance creates a myriad of symptoms that affect your physical, psychological and emotional health. It is often unsuspected as a cause in many disorders including depression, anxiety, infertility, miscarriage and postpartum depression.
It is a sad fact that many women (and men) suffer needlessly for many years from undetected thyroid imbalance.
Did you know?
- In the USA over 30 million people have a thyroid disorder, and another nearly 10 million are undiagnosed. Thyroid disease is also on the increase with 500,000 new cases a year 1.
- 30% of women suffer from an under active thyroid 2, 3. Many others have a form of hyperthyroidism.
- A sharp increase in thyroid imbalance occurs after the birth of a baby, at perimenopause and menopause.
Underactive & overactive thyroid conditions can cause infertility and affect pregnancy outcomes.
- 1 in 6 couples have issues with infertility and the effect on their lives is likely to be huge.
- A study shows approximately 25% of women presenting with infertility have low grade hypothyroidism 1.
Infertility and Thyroid Imbalance
Infertility issues can make you feel depressed when you are unable to become pregnant. Thyroid imbalance worsens depression and the inability to cope with the stress taxes the thyroid even more. Even minimal hypothyroidism can cause infertility 1, 4.
Symptoms of Thyroid Imbalance are many and vary depending on whether the imbalance is hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
Learning about thyroid imbalance and seeing a doctor who listens to you as you explain what you are experiencing, who asks about your health and family history and who will run a complete set of thyroid laboratory tests is a vital early step in infertility treatment and may save much suffering 1, 3
Be aware the functional levels of TSH test range from 1.8 to 3 mU/L, a narrower range than most doctors recognise 5. Other necessary blood tests include Free T3 and Free T4, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies (Thyroglobulin - (Anti-Tg) and Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (Anti-TPO) 2, 3, 5, 6.
Men who have sperm infertility issues should also have thyroid tests as a thyroid imbalance can impact on this 3.
Infertility can create stress, anxiety, and suffering. Couples may feel a wide range of emotions and feelings from guilt, inadequacy, sadness, shame, vulnerability, and isolation, to failure and low self esteem. The huge costs, multiple doctor appointments, effects on employment, monthly hopes and expectations, feeling of no control over ones life, can lead to depression and marital problems 1.
Frequently, unexplained infertility may be attributed to stress or psychological factors but many of these women have symptoms typical of hypothyroidism 3.
The anxiety that occurs during months of infertility treatment intensifies the anxiety caused by thyroid problems. It may also intensify worsening PMS, increased anger, mood swings, irritability and arguments.
Take steps to prevent this escalation. Even minimal hypothyroidism can cause infertility problems so if you are struggling with infertility, taking steps to improve your health may increase your chance of conceiving 1, 4.
So, get your thyroid checked if you have any infertility issues before undergoing any infertility treatment.
‘Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery” 7, part 2, part 3, part 4 will guide you in the steps towards improving your health and vitality. Although this explores Hashimoto’s, the information provided is relevant for many health concerns. Working with a health coach, especially one who understands the thyroid and the mind body brain connection, experienced in guiding you through the process to find and resolve the root cause of your infertility, may be invaluable to you.