Thyroid is one of the most important glands of the human body as it helps in the regulation of multiple body functions, including our metabolism, body temperature and heart rate. It is a butterfly-shaped gland present in the throat below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland produces two hormones - T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) - which are maintained by the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Any thyroid dysfunction can either present as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. In hypothyroidism, there is a decreased production of thyroxine hormone in the body which slows down the metabolism, causes weight gain and intolerance to cold. (Read more: T4 Thyroxine Test)

In hyperthyroidism, there is an increased production of thyroxine hormone in the body which accelerates the metabolism, causing weight loss and intolerance to heat. (Read more: Thyroid Function Test)

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Undiagnosed or untreated thyroid dysfunction can be a reason for infertility in women. Though with proper treatment, a woman can easily conceive and give birth to a healthy child.

Doctors recommend that before conception, the TSH should ideally be kept in the lower half of the reference range - that is, between 0.5 and 2.5 mU/L - as this reduces the chances of miscarriage.

Read more: Ayurvedic Treatment for Thyroid Problems

  1. How does thyroid disease affect pregnancy?
  2. Can a person with thyroid disease get pregnant?
  3. How to maintain thyroid levels during pregnancy
Doctors for How to get pregnant with thyroid problems

Studies have shown that thyroid dysfunction can affect the menstruation cycle and thus affect one's ability to conceive. Thyroid dysfunction in women can lead to:

  • Anovulatory cycles: Due to thyroid dysfunction, the woman might not be able to release eggs during the menstruation cycle, which makes it difficult for them to conceive.
  • Luteal phase defect: It is a condition in which the body produces less progesterone hormone or does not respond properly to this hormone. Progesterone is essential for the shedding of the endometrium lining (the inner lining) of the uterus. Regular shedding of the endometrium lining is necessary for the implantation and growth of the embryo. 
  • High prolactin levels: High levels of prolactin (PRL) in the blood stop the ovaries from making the hormone estrogen which causes irregular periods (or completely missing periods), reduced sex drive, and vaginal dryness. (Read more: Prolactin Test)
  • Sex hormone imbalances: Thyroid dysfunction can cause a hormonal imbalance in sex hormones like progesterone and estrogen. 
  • Anaemia: Women with hypothyroidism tend to have heavy vaginal bleeding during periods which makes them more prone to anaemia.

Read more: Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?

Yes, after the required thyroid treatment, a woman with thyroid dysfunction can get pregnant. If you have a thyroid problem and wish to get pregnant, talk to your doctor. Here's what you can expect during this visit to the clinic:

  • On your visit, the doctor may ask you some questions regarding your family’s medical history.
  • The doctor may ask for a blood sample for the serum TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test. Serum TSH test would determine the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. 

In the case of low levels of thyroid hormone - that is, hypothyroidism - the doctor may prescribe you levothyroxine which mimics the T4 hormone that the thyroid gland produces. Once a woman conceives, the dose of the medication can be altered by the doctor. The expecting woman should visit her doctor after confirmation of the pregnancy.

In the case of high levels of thyroid hormone - that is, hyperthyroidism - the doctor may prescribe you anti-thyroid medications like propylthiouracil and methimazole for maintaining the levels of thyroid hormone in the body. The dose of the medication can change after the woman conceives.

Read more: Thyroid Problems During Pregnancy

Apart from taking daily medications, these are certain things you can do in order to maintain thyroid levels during pregnancy:

  • Reduce stress: Stress increases the levels of cortisol hormone in the body which prevents the thyroid gland from releasing hormones. Thus, stress can increase the chances of getting hypothyroidism.
  • Increase physical activity: Exercises and yoga can help in increasing the levels of thyroid hormones in the body and also help in the better absorption of the hormones.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Avoid sugar, refined grains and caffeine to avoid the chances of getting thyroid disease.  
  • Increase iodine intake: An iodine deficiency can lead to goitre. The demand for iodine increases during pregnancy, so the expecting woman should consume more iodine-rich foods like fish and dairy products along with the supplements given by the doctor.

Read more: Yoga for Thyroid Problems

Dr Sujata Sinha

Dr Sujata Sinha

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
30 Years of Experience

Dr. Pratik Shikare

Dr. Pratik Shikare

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Payal Bajaj

Dr. Payal Bajaj

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
20 Years of Experience

Dr Amita

Dr Amita

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
3 Years of Experience

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