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Thyroid Function & Your Fertility

Inability to conceive  due to Thyroid function can be very frustrating & depressing, more so when the “trying time” has been going on for long.

If you have been unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for more than 6 months, before you embark on invasive medical procedures and spend thousands of dollars for assisted reproductive technology, ensure that your thyroid is functioning at its optimum.

A recent research, published on Jan. 23 in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, found that 2.3 percent of women with fertility problems had an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), compared with 1.5 percent of those in the general population. The condition is also linked with menstrual irregularity, the researchers said.

The current recommendation by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is to start screening for thyroid disorders at age 35.

According to Amanda Jefferys, a researcher from the Bristol Center for Reproductive Medicine at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, England, Abnormalities in thyroid function can have an adverse effect on reproductive health and result in,

Role of Thyroid Hormone Function

Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of the body’s metabolism, blood calcium levels, energy production, fat metabolism, oxygen utilization, balance of other hormones & weight maintenance. 

Hormones involved with thyroid function include Thyroid Releasing Hormone (TRH) released from the hypothalamus in the brain, which stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to release Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which in turn stimulates the thyroid gland to produce Thyroxine (T4) & Triiodothyronine (T3). Much of T4 is converted to T3 (the active form) in the liver. Thyroid hormones are synthesized from iodine and the amino acid Tyrosine (from protein), and the conversion to the active form is reliant on the trace mineral Selenium.

Thyroid Function & Fertility

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) affects about 0.5 percent of women of reproductive age.

Treating thyroid disorder may improve the chance of pregnancy, may decrease the miscarriage risk, and may improve the health of the baby.


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