What effects does hypothyroidism have on my ability to get pregnant?

Hyperthyroidism can complicate the process of getting pregnant.  This is not always the case.  However, hyperthyroidism can cause problems with ovulation such as anovulation and other menstrual irregularities. 

Hyperthyroidism can halt ovulation entirely.  It does so by upsetting the delicate balance of reproductive hormones in your body.  This may lead to decreased levels of the pituitary hormone called LH or lutenizing hormone, the hormone that prompts ovulation.  Hyperthyroidism can also shorten the luteal phase.  The luteal phase is the time between ovulation and onset of menstruation.  The body needs this time, typically 13 to 15 days, to nourish and grow an implanted, fertilized egg.  If it is shortened, it may lead to a loss of early pregnancy.

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, can also be caused by thyroid problems.  PCOS can cause fertility complications as well.

The good news is that when your disease is properly managed, you can usually can have a safe, uneventful pregnancy and delivery.  Taking your medications, keeping your thyroid levels under control, getting regular care with a specialist familiar with treating pregnant thyroid patients, and taking charge of your own health appears to be key to a successful outcome.



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