Issue #279 February 9, 2015
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today,the topic is how thyroid disfunction affects fertility, miscarriage and the baby’s devolpment. Good information to know.
Research: Thyroid Dysfunction Seen as Cause of Conception Problems
New research published this week confirms the long suspected link between thyroid problems and a woman’s inability to conceive, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Dr. Matthew Retzloff of the Fertility Center of San Antonio says fertility doctors are having positive results because of this study.
“We know the prevalence of thyroid disease in women who are unable to conceive as well as those who have issues with pregnancy loss is higher than the general population,” he said.
The research shows that 2.3% of women with fertility problems had an overactive thyroid, compares with 1.5% of those in the general population.
The condition is also linked with menstrual irregularity.
Dr. Reztloff says the key is to screen for thyroid dysfunction at the start of pregnancy, and especially when seeking fertility treatment or struggling with miscarriage.
“We have seen women conceive who have been more tightly controlled with their thyroid glands who have successfully conceived and delivered, who have been unable to conceive and deliver before,” he said.
Researchers indicate that a woman’s thyroid requirements go up by as much as one third in early pregnancy, and the fetus cannot produce its own thyroid hormone until the end of the first trimester.
The thyroid gland, which is located in the neck behind the ‘Adam’s Apple,’ produces hormones which control a body’s metabolism, use of energy, and other vital functions. The thyroid also regulates the growth of the body, which is why a well functioning thyroid is vital to women in the earliest stages of pregnancy.
The research indicates that thyroid disease, and either an underactive or overactive thyroid, is associated with an increased risk of problems during pregnancy, including miscarriage, preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, premature birth and stillbirth.
“We had always thought that the normal levels for thyroid hormones live between about .5 and 4.5,” Dr. Retzloff said. “We now work to keep that level below 2.5.”
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