Aikya Speciality Centre

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WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF PREGNANCY?

Thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in front of your neck. It produces thyroid hormones. Though thyroid gland is small, it affects the way most of the organs in the body work including your heartbeat. Thus, it is important to ensure that the thyroid gland remains healthy and works properly. Thyroid disorders can influence pregnancy. It is one of the factors that affect the fertility of a woman and thereby hinders her ability to become pregnant.

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Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid disorder that affects women of child-bearing age. Fortunately, most thyroid problems affecting pregnancy can be treated easily.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a state in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough Thyroxine hormone. Hypothyroidism commonly affects women than men. When the thyroid stops producing sufficient thyroxine hormone, the entire functioning of the body slows down. 

How Does hypothyroidism affect pregnancy and childbirth?

Women who are hypothyroid and wish to become pregnant may face certain complications if not treated promptly. An underactive thyroid gland can cause anemia, miscarriage, stillbirth and dangerous rise in blood pressure during pregnancy. Thus, pregnant women with hypothyroid must take extra care of their health and should be treated on time. 

How Hypothyroidism affect fertility?

During the normal menstrual cycle, eggs are released or ovulated from the ovary and it is a sign of fertility. In case of a woman with hypothyroidism, there may not be regular ovulation of eggs every month or may release poor quality eggs. This severely affects a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. So, it is important for a woman with hypothyroid to stay on medication in order to maintain the normal hormone level. 

How hypothyroid can affect my baby?

Thyroid hormones are crucial for normal development of you baby’s brain and nervous system. During the first three months of pregnancy, your baby depends on your supply of thyroid hormone which comes through the placenta. Therefore, if this condition is left untreated in early pregnancy itself, it can affect the baby’s brain, and nervous system. 

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How is hypothyroid treated?

The most commonly prescribed medication to treat hypothyroidism is Levothyroxine. During the pregnancy, a higher dose of medicine is prescribed, especially in the first 20 weeks so that the fetus gets a sufficient quantity of thyroxine hormone for the development. Levothyroxine is safe for the baby and the medicine is important till the baby prepares thyroxine on its own. Make sure that blood check is done at regular intervals to measure the fluctuations in the thyroxine level. 

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