When the topic of thyroid issues comes up we know that fertility is not the first thing that comes to mind, but can thyroid issues cause problems with fertility?
Whether you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's, or even thyroid cancer, there often is some impact on your fertility. For women, this can result in issues with getting pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy.
When there are issues with a couple trying to conceive, bloodwork is often one of the first diagnostic tests performed on the female partner. This bloodwork panel often includes a test for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It can help narrow down whether a patient has thyroid issues that could be contributing to problems related to infertility.
The Link Between Thyroid Function and Fertility
Dysregulated thyroid function can negatively impact fertility in both men and women. For women, having dysregulated thyroid function can prevent ovulation or cause a disruption in the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle. The luteal phase occurs after a woman ovulates. A disruption to this part of the cycle can result in irregular cycles and inability to time when to have intercourse making it harder to conceive.
Common symptoms of thyroid issues include more frequent or heavier menstrual cycles, fatigue, dry skin and hair, muscle soreness, weight gain, and forgetfulness. Many women go undiagnosed with thyroid issues until they are trying to conceive and have bloodwork completed.
In men, dysregulated thyroid function can lead to sperm quality and motility issues, making it harder for sperm to penetrate the female partner’s eggs.
Treatment for Thyroid Disorders
Knowing that thyroid levels are abnormal can be stressful, especially when trying to conceive, but luckily there are treatment options to help regulate thyroid levels.
For women and men with a thyroid disorder, treatment is often as simple as taking prescribed medication and periodic monitoring of TSH and other thyroid hormone levels.
While undergoing fertility treatment, the reproductive endocrinologist may prescribe thyroid medications or recommend working with an endocrinologist to help manage thyroid levels and the symptoms associated with thyroid disorders.
Learn More About TSH Levels and Its Impact on Fertility
If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year (for women 35 or older) or more than six months (for women under age 35), consider reaching out to a reproductive endocrinologist to set up an initial consultation.
During the initial consultation, the doctor reviews the patient’s medical history and can look at potential symptoms or previous thyroid diagnosis issues to make their recommendations. They will also order bloodwork that includes TSH screening to verify if levels are within normal range. Additional screening and steps may be involved for patients with levels outside of the normal range, but this will all be explained during your appointment.
Here at OC Fertility, our mission is “Growing Families, Together” and we take pride in the state-of-the-art treatment and personalized care we offer each of our patients. If you’re ready to schedule your initial consultation, text or call us at 949-996-9522 today!