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Friday, 8 September 2017

How to get pregnant if you are suffering from hypothyroidism

In India, many women suffer from hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency. It is a condition when the thyroid gland secretes less of the hormone which leads to a sluggish metabolism and slowing of all other functions in the body. This makes conception difficult. In fact, with an underlying problem like hypothyroidism, it is advisable to consult your doctor pre-conception. Here is all you need to know about thyroid and pregnancy.
How hypothyroidism affects conception?

Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with the functioning of the ovaries and make them produce less progesterone.
It can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. Also, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism — such as certain autoimmune or pituitary disorders — are known to make a woman infertile.

What should you do?
If you are planning a pregnancy seek help from your doctor. Depending on the severity of your condition your doctor might suggest medications or a hormone replacement therapy to restore fertility. It may take about 1 or 2 months to normalise your thyroid hormone levels with medication; and once you start medication, you must check your TSH levels to confirm they are in the normal range. Once the TSH levels are restored, a couple can try for a baby when they are ready.
How can hypothyroidism affect pregnancy?
Untreated hypothyroidism can affect the pregnancy; it can put the mother at risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia or premature delivery. Low thyroid hormone might also affect the fetal brain and heart development. Here are seven things that could lead to preterm labour.
How can hypothyroidism be treated during pregnancy?
Medications are prescribed to help one get the TSH levels to normal during pregnancy. However, it is important to keep a tab on the medications and your TSH levels simultaneously. An overdose of thyroid medications during pregnancy has consequences too. Don’t skip your doctor’s appointments so they can titrate the dosage of your medicines in keeping with your latest reports.
(With inputs from Dr Beena Jaysingh, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru)
Image source: Shutterstock

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