June 2022

How can thyroid disorders impact your fertility?

The small thyroid gland we have in our throat can impact our health in large ways. Many people suffer from thyroid disorders and these disorders can be hard to manage at times. It may take some trial and error for those with a thyroid disorder to find the right medication and diet for them. Thyroid disorders can affect fertility and this is a concern of many when they are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.


What are common thyroid disorders?

There are a few types of thyroid disorders, the most common are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, the endocrine system is a part of many bodily functions. Your thyroid produces hormones that regulate your metabolism.

Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid gland produces too many hormones. This disorder is more common in women. Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, increased appetite, thin skin, restlessness, and anxiety. After diagnosis doctors typically prescribe medication that will block the thyroid gland from producing hormones. 

Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. This can cause some of your body’s functions to slow. Hypothyroidism is common for those who also have celiac disease, diabetes, or lupus. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, dry skin, constipation, depression, weight gain, irregular menstruation, and fertility problems. The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is hormone medication that produce hormones that you are lacking. [1]




How do thyroid disorders impact fertility?

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can have a negative impact on fertility. These disorders can impact a person’s ability to become pregnant and to carry a pregnancy to term. If you are trying to conceive and your thyroid disorder is not being regulated this will cause some difficulties. 

Unregulated thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause low levels of progesterone. Signs of low progesterone levels are a shorter or longer menstrual cycle, lighter or heavier bleeding, and longer or shorter windows of bleeding.

The interruption of one’s menstrual cycle can make it difficult to conceive. Irregularity in one’s menstrual cycle can make the period when you can get pregnant short and hard to predict. Menstrual cycle irregularities due to thyroid disorders can cause there to be no implantation of the egg or incomplete implantation. People with thyroid disorders often struggle to have children. It is important to work with your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder and would like to conceive soon. [2]


What can you do if you have a thyroid disorder and want to have children?

For those with thyroid disorders, if you are pregnant or would like to be soon it is important to have a treatment plan for your thyroid disorder that works for you. An untreated thyroid disorder can be dangerous during pregnancy.

For those with hyperthyroidism, you may not need treatment during or before pregnancy if your symptoms aren’t severe. If you have severe hyperthyroidism your doctor may prescribe medication to ensure your thyroid makes fewer hormones. This disorder can be managed and if treated well you should be able to get pregnant and manage pregnancy safely.

For those who have hypothyroidism, it is very important to get on medication that works for you during and prior to pregnancy. The medication that is prescribed is a medicine that will produce the hormones you are lacking. If you become pregnant your dose may need to be changed. Your doctor should check your hormone levels often.

Many of those who have thyroid disorders struggle with fertility. It is so important to get diagnosed soon if you have symptoms and to find a medication that works for you. Thyroid issues can make fertility and pregnancy a bit more complicated, but with the right treatment, you should have a successful pregnancy. [3]




[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/common-thyroid-disorders#hypothyroidism

[2] https://www.endocrineweb.com/thyroid-disorders-fertility

[3] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/pregnancy-thyroid-disease