The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ and it is placed in the front of your neck. It releases hormones that regulate your heart rate, metabolism, nervous system. Also, weight, temperature, and many other processes in the body. Thyroid hormone plays a vital role during pregnancy, for both the development of a healthy baby and the sustenance of the mother’s health. And, an abnormal thyroid can create issues in reproduction at every stage of pregnancy. Such conditions need to be treated in a reputed best Endocrinology hospital in Hyderabad. This is important because poor foetal growth, premature birth, and still birth can all be the causes of unchecked Thyroid.
However, once the over or under active thyroid is under control, there is no reason why you should not have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. This suggests that it is possible for women with thyroid problems to have a healthy pregnancy. But, it can be possible only if they can protect their foetuses’ health by learning about thyroid effect on pregnancy. Also, it is important to know how to control thyroid related problem during pregnancy.
How Does Low Thyroid Affect Pregnancy?
If you have an untreated and underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) you are likely to find it more difficult to conceive. It may result in longer or heavier periods, which can cause anaemia, or your periods may even stop completely. If your thyroid hormone levels are back to normal after medication, your chances of becoming pregnant should improve.
If you are planning a pregnancy you should have a blood test done before you conceive and talk to your doctor. You will be suggested to go for higher doses of levothyroxine during pregnancy, particularly during the first 20 weeks, to provide sufficient supply of thyroid hormones to the baby. And, you should increase your dose as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test.
If your thyroid produces too little or more thyroid hormone, it throws off your body’s metabolism. This can affect sleeping positions in pregnancy. Likewise, there can be certain other complications as a result of the thyroid related medical issues.
How Does High Thyroid Level Affect Pregnancy?
The most common reason responsible for hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. If it is left untreated you may have irregular periods and face difficulty in conceiving. So, if you are planning to have a baby you should go for a blood test to check for your thyroid function. And, if you are pregnant and have had Graves’ disease before, you must tell your obstetrician about your medical history.
In case you are suffering from active hyperthyroidism, you will need to take antithyroid drugs during your pregnancy. If you are taking Carbimazole when you conceive you should change to Propylthiouracil as soon as possible.
If thyroid surgery is needed, it should ideally be performed during the middle three months of pregnancy. It must be noted that radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism should never be used during pregnancy.
How to Control Thyroid During Pregnancy?
Thyroxine is used to treat Hypothyroidism. It is similar to T4, a hormone which is secreted by the gland. If you are suffering from pre-existing hypothyroidism, this will help maintain normal thyroid function. It is safe and necessary for the well-being of the foetus if the mother has hypothyroidism. And, it is advised to go for a regular test of TSH levels for every 6-8 weeks during pregnancy.
Hyperthyroidism in which TSH is decreased does not require treatment. While severe cases of hyperthyroidism can be treated with antithyroid medications. These medicines can act by interfering with thyroid hormone production. Basically, it can enter the placenta, thereby decreasing the foetal thyroid hormone production. Doctors advise for minimal dose to avoid hypothyroidism in the baby.
There is an increased risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy if hyperthyroidism is not under control. Also, the baby’s thyroid may become under-active and the baby may develop a goiter if the dose of antithyroid drugs is too high. So, when trying to conceive or during pregnancy, do not take antithyroid drugs before speaking to your doctor.
At times the thyroid gland makes too much or too little hormones. This will result in thyroid disorder. Some women have a thyroid disorder that begins before pregnancy while others may develop thyroid problems for the first time during pregnancy or soon after giving birth. However, with proper treatment, a thyroid condition may not cause any problems during pregnancy.