Are you are planning to get pregnant? One of the first tests that your gynecologist may prescribe is to take a thyroid test. Thyroid is an important gland that plays a major role in fertility. Solving thyroid problems are more important if you’re trying to conceive. This article will let you know what is thyroid, what are its functions, how it affects your fertility and how it can be cured.
What Is Thyroid?
The Thyroid is a 2 inches long, H shaped endocrine gland that is present in the neck of your body that weighs less than an ounce. This gland is responsible for producing, storing and releasing hormones into the bloodstream that can direct the functions of the body’s cells. The thyroid produces two important hormones, T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine). These hormones are accountable to regulate a person’s metabolism, which actually has a greater impact on the function of the human body. When the thyroid gland produces too much or too little hormone, it can affect a woman’s fertility.
Types Of Thyroid And Its Impact On Pregnancy
Thyroid Is Of Two Types – Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is caused by overproduction of thyroid hormones due to the inflammation of the thyroid. It occurs both in men and women. Signs of hyperthyroidism in women include loss of libido, irregular menstruation and postpartum thyroiditis. Signs of hyperthyroidism in men include abnormal enlargement of the mammary glands, feminization and loss of libido.
Hypothyroidism is caused when the thyroid is not producing enough hormones due to iodine deficiency. It is more commonly found in women than men. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in women include irregular menstrual cycle, infertility, Hyperprolactenimia, Galactorrhea. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in men include loss of libido and enlargement of the mammary glands.
How Does Thyroid Affect Fertility?
The presence of thyroid may cause Anovulatory cycle, which is a condition where there is an absence of ovulation and eggs to be fertilized. Thyroid can affect the level of progesterone in the body due to which the fertilized egg will not be able to attach to the uterus. This can cause very early miscarriage. An improper thyroid function also leads to a low basal body temperature which prevents an embryo from developing and increases the chances of miscarriage. Low thyroid levels lead to increased prolactin, which can have a negative impact on your fertility.
Tests To Determine Thyroid Problem
TSH – This test is done to determine the thyroid functioning. If the TSH levels are high, it means hypothyroidism and if it is low, it means hyperthyroidism.
T4 – If the T4 levels are high, it means hyperthyroidism and if it is low, it means hypothyroidism. Generally, TSH is combined with T4 to get a more accurate result.
T3 – This test is used to determine the presence and severity of hyperthyroidism, especially during pregnancy. Higher levels of T3 indicate hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid Antibody Test – This test is used to find out the presence of hyper or hypothyroidism in the body.
Radioactive Iodine Test – Used to find out the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Treatments For Thyroid
Hyperthyroidism – If you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you will be given antithyroid drugs, which prevents the thyroid gland from producing new thyroid hormones. Another treatment method is radioactive radiation, which destroys the thyroid tissue to stop the production of thyroid hormone. And sometimes the whole thyroid gland can also be removed with the help of a surgery. If you’re trying to conceive, you can go for radioactive iodine treatment which eliminates the need for anti-thyroid drugs. You should wait at least for 6 months after this treatment to get pregnant.
Hypothyroidism – If you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you will be prescribed levothyroxine, which will improve or regularize your menstrual cycle. And in men, it is said to solve the sperm abnormalities and erectile dysfunction to improve fertility. You might also be prescribed iodine supplements.
The bottom line is, if you’re facing difficulty getting pregnant or suffering from a miscarriage, it is important to get a thyroid test to be done. Ensure that your thyroid levels are at a good level to support a healthy pregnancy. You can approach Jeevan Mithra Fertility Centre, the best fertility centre in Chennai, to get your thyroid tests done and have a healthy pregnancy. Their experienced fertility specialists, advanced treatment plans, latest equipment and state-of-the-art lab make them the best infertility clinic in Chennai. Contact Jeevan Mithra now to schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist.