Infertility and Pregnancy
In This Section
Infertility and pregnancy are issues where thyroid health is critical not only to the woman but more so to the fetus that she may be carrying in her womb.
Thyroid dysfunction in hyper- or hypothyroidism has adverse effects of reproduction. Menstrual irregularities, changes in cycle length and amount of bleeding, and even failure on ovulation have all been observed in women with thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with loss of libido and infertility. There is increased prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in women with infertility. Even if pregnancy does occur, there is high likelihood of gestational hypertension and miscarriage.
Thyrotoxicosis occurring in prepubertal girls may result in delayed menarche; smoking aggravates the development of menstrual disturbances in thyrotoxicosis. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is also higher in prevalence with women with thyroid autoimmune disorders; thus, confounding the issue of fertility among women or reproductive age.