Every woman planning to get pregnant, should get their thyroid tested pre-conception and then again as soon as possible in their first trimester of pregnancy. In early pregnancy the fetus is dependent on the mother to supply the thyroid hormones essential for brain development. If the mother is hypothyroid, she may not be able to supply her fetus with enough thyroid hormones, putting the fetus at risk. Thyroid levels change quickly in pregnancy, so do not delay.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is sited somewhere in the lower neck area in front. It is a major constituent of the endocrine system, known for the release and storage of hormones that trigger cellular actions.
The thyroid gland is made of the two most crucial hormones Thyroxin and Triodothyronine. Your metabolism and energy processing depends entirely on these two. Although marginally, thyroid can affect your ability in ovulating, thus giving you a hard time in conceiving. It might so be that you either produce too much of the thyroid hormone, a condition known as hyperthyroidism or maybe a little too less, leading to hypothyroidism. Needless to say, it affects your chances of getting pregnant too.
Thyroid Disease and Fertility:
It does not matter if you already know about your thyroid issue or you suspect to have something wrong with the gland, symptoms with difficult fertility might make it easier for you to diagnose roughly. Of course you got to the doctor to get it under control.
Hypothyroidism during pregnancy first trimester is usually not uncommon. It is fairly natural. This means, even with hypothyroidism, your pregnancy is safe. However, you have to be on medication to keep it under control, whether you have the overactive hyperthyroidism. During your first trimester you are at a greater risk of miscarriage if you leave the hypothyroidism untreated. The ultimate aim of hypothyroidism is to keep the thyroid hormone level within the normal range.
Not enough production of the thyroid hormones can lead to hypothyroidism. This is usually triggered when there is a significant deficiency in iodine. The signs and symptoms include infertility, irregular menstrual cycle, galactorrhea (a condition where there is milk flow even without childbirth). Low basal body temperature is also a deciding factor.
These conditions if left untreated can cause difficult in your pregnancy and give rise to other complications as well. Some of them are anemia, miscarriage and placental detachment. Postpartum hemorrhage is a common phenomenon as well. The baby even if he overcomes these difficulties might suffer from low birth weight issues and thyroid problems from the very birth itself. Birth defects are common as well. The final type of thyroid is the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
But what are the hypothyroidism during pregnancy symptoms? Here’s the list for you to verify.
- How tired do you feel? A constant tiredness and fatigue is associated with hypothyroidism.
- The next immediate symptom is constipation. In case you experience constipation, it is time you watch out for the other symptoms too.
- Weight gain is another symptom of hypothyroidism. In case you feel you have gained weight for no apparent reason, you need to be careful. While your diet will have a role to play, an extreme weight gain is not desirable.
- Dry skin and loss of eyebrows usually comes as a symptom of hypothyroidism effect in pregnancy.
- Hoarse voice and swelling of the face is another symptom.
Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy:
In case you have hypothyroidism and are wondering how it will affect you and in turn your child, let us have a look.
How will my Hypothyroidism affect my Baby?
Let’s just say if the condition is left untreated, there is an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight of the baby is recorded. Disabilities although not common is seen to some extent in the child’s life eventually. However, the good news through it all is that you most likely won’t pass your condition on to your child.
See More: Acid Reflux In Babies
What’s the Best way to Treat Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy?
The medications for hypothyroid are safe and can be taken when pregnant. Women with a case of hypothyroidism running in the family might require higher medicine dosage since there is more fluctuation in the hormone level than usual. However monthly trips to the physician or health care provider should help keep it in check.
What can I do to Prevent Hypothyroidism?
There is nothing as of how to treat the condition since it is rather mysterious and no particular cause has been found yet and hence there is no cure for the same. But the usual treatment is the same for most pregnant woman. T4 is used to suffice for the missing hormone. Injected in synthetic form, its dosage is maintained so much so that the blood levels of TSH is just how it should be on a whole
Hypothyroidism Effect in Pregnancy:
For ages, doctors have tried to establish a link between the pregnant mother affected with the condition and the child and his development both during pregnancy and after birth. It is often seen that women in iodine deficient countries are affected more. Trimester specific results are also possible. The risk of miscarriage, preterm birth is common with this. The good news however is that under proper medication, you can reverse the adverse effects.
How Early does the Mother’s Thyroid Hormone Affect the Unborn Baby?
Since the child’s development is entirely dependent on the mother, it is a while until the baby’s thyroid gland starts functioning. Not before the end of first trimester. So, even though the mothers hypothyroidism does play a role, and adverse ones, the T4 medication should solve it all. The children are more prone to IQ issues than TSH deficiency.
What can be done to avoid the Consequences of Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy?
The consequences vary from person to person but some of the precautions to be exercised are:
- If you have an enlarged thyroid, don’t forget to get it checked at least once.
- In case your family has a history or see a symptom of goiter, it certainly means you need to rake up your iodine intake.
- There isn’t really evidence but antibodies might create issues with your hormonal imbalance throwing it even more off guard. Review every single test with your doctor before you proceed further with the pregnancy, just to be safe.
See More: Pain During Pregnancy
By the end, you can obviously make out that everything above is a generic view to how hypothyroidism affects pregnancy. In the end, it is your individual condition that makes a difference and the benefit of treatment has come so far that even a woman affected with the condition can go on with the pregnancy without a single worry. Do not forget to check in with your doctor once and you should be good to go.Target your conception issues and get your thyroid tested. It is often the case that if the mother happens to be a hypothyroid, the fetus will be affected too. It might put your child at risk and isn’t worth ignoring!