Is there a link between hypothyroidism and infertility? 5 lifestyle changes to manage thyroid disorders – Times Now

Is there a link between hypothyroidism and infertility? 5 lifestyle changes to manage thyroid disorders  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

New Delhi: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, can make you feel unpleasant and affect many different systems in your body. In fact, a Harvard Medical School study reported that having even a slightly underactive thyroid may interfere with a womans ability to get pregnant. For women, treating this condition is a crucial part of any effort to improve fertility. Butlifestyle measures can help improve thyroid function and ease the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which your thyroid gland doesnt produce enough of certain crucial hormones. It occurs when the thyroid hormone regulations and production is disturbed and can lead to a wide range of issues like fatigue, low energy, weight gain, and constipation accompanied by infertility symptoms such as menstrual irregularity, difficulty in ovulation, and difficulty in conception.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in front of the neck which helps to regulate our hormones. The pituitary gland in the brain produces a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone which helps produce other two hormones known as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) from the thyroid gland. These hormones aid in the normal functioning of the body.

Experts and medical doctors have known for some time that low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation), which impairs fertility. Moreover, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism -such as certain autoimmune or pituitary disorders - may impair fertility, as per Mayo Clinic.

Even men suffer from hypothyroidism. In men, hypothyroidism can reduce the sperm volume and motility of sperm leading to decreased fertility. Ideally, anyone with a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain issues need to get their thyroid levels checked to rule out hypothyroidism, said Dr Richa Jagtap, clinical director & consultant - reproductive medicine, Nova IVF Fertility.

Hypothyroidism is commonly found alongside polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There is a 2-4 per cent prevalence of hypothyroidism in women of the reproductive age group (20-40 years). Around 20-30 per cent of women with infertility may have hypothyroidism, added Dr Jagtap.

How to identify a thyroid problem

Once your doctor diagnoses the clinical symptoms, he or she will ask you to do a blood test called TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone test and T3, T4 levels. Normal TSH levels fall between 0.5 to 4.5.

For a woman trying to conceive, even a mild increase in TSH should be appropriately corrected. This ideally needs to be corrected so that the TSH levels fall around the range of 2.5. These levels are safer for a woman to conceive because then her hormones will be in appropriate range while she is trying to get pregnant. The good news is that appropriate medication will help the thyroid hormones to get back to normal, added the doctor.

Usually, when one starts medication, it will take around 3 weeks for thyroid levels to start correcting. It also depends on how much the initial thyroid level was. For instance, if the TSH level is high then it will take a longer time to get back to the normal range. If it is borderline high then it wont take much time for the levels to get back to the recommended range. Lifestyle changes that can help manage thyroid disorders include:

Medication and lifestyle changes will help patients get back on track.If you are pregnant and have hypothyroidism, you mustget appropriate treatment. Also, you should not discontinue the medication without informing your doctor.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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Is there a link between hypothyroidism and infertility? 5 lifestyle changes to manage thyroid disorders - Times Now

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