Women who have been trying to get pregnant for a period of over six months with no success, should take a closer look at whether their thyroid is functioning properly, before spending thousands of dollars on expensive procedures and surgeries. Many of them have no idea about the importance of a healthy thyroid function and the way it affects pregnancy and even though there are plenty of factors that may cause infertility, suboptimal thyroid function is amongst the main ones.
Women should in this regard consider having a thyroid exam under the following conditions:
- If they have family members who have thyroid problems.
- Present irregularity in their menstrual cycle.
- Have had at least 2 miscarriages.
- Failed to get pregnant after trying for at least six months.
The Function of the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is located above the collar bones and below the voice box and its function is that of regulating the blood calcium levels, the body’s metabolism, weight maintenance, different types of hormones, oxygen utilization and fat metabolism.
There are several factors which can affect the thyroid’s normal function and they include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Increased stress levels
- Genetic susceptibility
The Way Hypothyroidism Affects Fertility
1. Anovulatory cycles: These basically describe the fact that ovulation doesn’t happen, which in turn makes pregnancy impossible.
2. High Prolactin Levels: Because of the low levels of Thyroxine and the high levels of TRH, ovulation becomes irregular or it doesn’t happen at all.
3. Other Hormonal Imbalances: Progesterone deficiency, estrogen dominance and SHBG or reduced sex hormone binding globulin are all affecting the proper balance of reproductive hormones.
Thyroid Assessment Check List:
1. It’s important women will check the following list and see if they have any of the symptoms presented associated with low thyroid function.
- Recurrent infections
- Hair loss, changes in the texture of hair, nails and skin
- Inability to lose fat
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Low libido
- Period pain
- Menstrual irregularities
2. Women should also check and see if their basal temperature is consistently getting below 36,5 degrees Celsius. To check it, they will need to do it before getting off from bed in the morning for seven to ten days in the first fourteen days of their period. Ideally, their temperature should be above 36,5 degrees Celsius.
3. In order to get a complete thyroid assessment, people require readings for rT3, T4, TSH and Thyroid Antibodies which can all be done at a fertility clinic. In some cases though, it seems that TRH may also be required. In what regards the optimum values, the TSH level will have to be anywhere between one and two.
When trying to get pregnant, many women will not be able to do so because they are prone to high stress levels. When they get stressed, this will only increase the cortisol levels in their system, which inhibits the T4 conversion to the active T3 hormone. Exercising is also beneficial, because it will not only the sensitivity of the tissue to thyroid hormones, but also increase the secretion of thyroid hormones. With that being said, by following these tips, women will easily be able lot get pregnant as soon as possible.