Thyroid disease can be difficult to manage, but it’s especially challenging if you’re pregnant. Untreated thyroid diseases during pregnancy may lead to premature birth and other complications. Here’s all you need to know about thyroid disease during pregnancy.
The thyroid gland, located in the front of your neck, produces hormones that control how quickly your body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive you are to other hormones. Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid disorder; it happens when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. This condition causes fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormone and causes symptoms such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat.
If you have a thyroid problem, your doctor will probably want to monitor your condition throughout pregnancy with blood tests that measure levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4). If one or both of these levels are elevated, your doctor may prescribe medication to help keep them within normal ranges.
If you have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), you may need to take medication before getting pregnant. This is because hypothyroidism can affect fertility in both men and women and increase the risk of miscarriage. Women with untreated hypothyroidism also have a greater risk of having babies with birth defects or developmental delays.
If you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), it’s important to get treatment before becoming pregnant because hyperthyroidism has been linked to miscarriage and stillbirths. You’ll also need to be treated during pregnancy because high levels of thyroid hormone can affect your baby’s growth and development.
Pregnancy is a very complicated and demanding process for a woman’s body. During this time, the body produces hormones that ensure the development of the fetus, as well as prepare the mother’s body for childbirth. One of those hormones is the thyroid hormone. However, if overproduced or under, it can cause a range of complications. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and seek proper intervention as needed.
If you have hyperthyroidism, your doctor will prescribe medication to manage the condition. If you’re already taking medication, continue to do so until after you give birth. If this is not an option for you, talk with your doctor about other options. They may recommend surgery or radioactive iodine therapy as a means of treating hyperthyroidism during pregnancy.
If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement therapy during pregnancy. This can help keep your symptoms under control while also ensuring the proper growth and development of your baby. The goal of treatment is to maintain a TSH level between 2 and 3, which means that you’ll likely need higher doses of levothyroxine (Thyroid). You may also need higher doses if you have a history of miscarriage or other complications with previous pregnancies.
If you’re still planning pregnancy, talk to your doctor about it. They will help bring your hormone levels under control, which will pave the way for a successful pregnancy. In case you’re pregnant already, get your tests done to see if your condition is well managed. If not, consult the doctor and start your treatment immediately.
As mentioned earlier, thyroid disease can create complications during pregnancy. But it doesn’t have to! Early intervention can ensure a smooth pregnancy experience and a healthy baby.