Thyroid disorders can negatively impact fertility and pregnancy
The majority of the male and female population suffers from thyroid disorders. Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause hormonal imbalances, menstruation, weight, skin, infertility, and heart problems more commonly in women. Early diagnosis and treatment can be key in managing thyroid health. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, interference with ovulation (release of an egg), and an increase in the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth.
There is a rising prevalence of Thyroid disorders in India. A lack of awareness can be the reason behind this. The thyroid produces thyroid hormone that controls many activities in the body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormone. Hypothyroidism is seen when the thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones. It is also known as an underactive thyroid. In hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid, causes the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than your body requires.
Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, said “Hypothyroidism as the most widespread thyroid dysfunction among women. There is an increasing trend of thyroid disease in the present day. One in every 10 women seems suffering from hypothyroid. Due to pandemic and covid lockdown and sedentary lockdown hypothyroid is also increasing in society and so many cases were seen last year. One or two miscarriages were seen due to high thyroid levels. Mostly it is observed between 30 to 35 years. But now due to changing lifestyle, it is seen in the age group 25 to 30 also. It is imperative to tackle thyroid disorders as they can cause problems with menstruation.”
Dr. Surabhi added, “The thyroid controls the menstrual cycle. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can make periods very light, heavy, or irregular, or stop the periods for a few months which is called amenorrhoea. These thyroid problems can cause early menopause and even complications to the baby during pregnancy. Low thyroid hormone levels can make you pile up those excess kilos, even if the number of calories eaten remains constant. Thyroid problems can cause rapid and irregular heartbeat, palpitations, and even heart failure. Thyroid disorders can make one anxious, nervous, restless, irritated, and even depressed. Other issues like dry, pale skin, itchiness, hair loss, slow-healing wounds, and thick, dry, and brittle nails are commonly seen in thyroid patients.”
“Thyroid hormones play an important role in the regulation of body metabolism, energy levels, body weight, internal temperature, menstrual cycles, the functioning of the lungs and heart and other vital organs. Thyroid disorders are common in the Indian population. Hypothyroidism, particularly, is more common, with a prevalence of about 11%, and is found to affect women more commonly than men. In the early stages of hypothyroidism, there are often no noticeable symptoms. But if left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to a number of health problems such as weight gain, menstrual disturbances, infertility, depression, kidney disease, and heart problems. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. In women, hyperthyroidism can lead to menstrual irregularities, impaired fertility, and an increased risk of early pregnancy loss. In men, hyperthyroidism can cause a marked reduction in sperm count.” explains Dr. Sneha Sathe, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility Mumbai.
“An over or underactive thyroid can interfere with regular cyclical ovulation (release of an egg from your ovary) and thus lead to difficulty in conceiving. It can also cause problems during pregnancy itself. Early diagnosis and treatment are key in managing thyroid health. A simple blood test to measure your TSH level can give an idea about any thyroid dysfunction. Your doctor can then advise further tests and also initiate treatment if it is required”, concludes Dr. Sathe.