When you think of infertility problems, you most likely focus on your own reproductive system and wonder if the problem is coming from you or your partner. Sometimes infertility is not necessarily caused by reproductive dysfunctions, but by dysfunctions of the thyroid such as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can cause a woman to have difficulties in not only getting pregnant, but also staying pregnant.
What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid to release excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone into the body. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism often include an increase in heart rate, fatigue, heart palpitations, unexpected weight loss, anxiousness, light menstrual flow or an absence of menstruation.
Hyperthyroidism and Infertility
Sometimes hyperthyroidism can cause an imbalance in the ovulation process due to the excessive hormones being released by the thyroid. The reproductive system is affected as the results of the uncontrolled thyroid cause a woman to not ovulate each month. It is not uncommon for a woman with hyperthyroidism to have irregular periods.
If you have hyperthyroidism, you may miss several periods which means you are not releasing an egg to be fertilized. Without the release of an egg, no fertilization can take place, thus no pregnancy. It should also be noted that you may have a period each month but not be ovulating.
Testing for Anovulation Caused by Hyperthyroidism
Anovulation is the condition of not ovulating (releasing an egg). If you are concerned that you are not ovulating, it is recommended that you use an Ovulating Prediction Kit. This kit will tell you if you are ovulating or not. If the kit shows that you are not ovulating, you should speak with your doctor and have your thyroid checked. This is a simple blood test and can tell your doctor if you have hyperthyroidism and the severity of the thyroid dysfunction.
If you and your doctor can regulate the thyroid with a simple medication that helps to suppress the amount of the thyroid hormone being released, it is possible that your infertility problems could be corrected.
Removal of Thyroid
If your hyperthyroidism is unable to be treated with the use of a daily medication that suppresses the excess secretion of the thyroid hormone, then it is possible that an Endocrinologist would suggest the removal of the thyroid. This surgery would remove the thyroid and post-operatively you would take a daily medication that would release the correct amount of a synthetic thyroid hormone. This is not a common or uncommon treatment; it is, however, a treatment that would be necessary for you whether or not you were working on infertility problems. If your thyroid dysfunction is this bad, the surgery would be necessary regardless. After the surgery, your infertility could quite possibly be cured.
If after regulating your thyroid, tracking your ovulation, and actively trying to become pregnant for at least 6 months with no results, it is time to consult an infertility specialist. In many cases, the regulation of hyperthyroidism can correct your infertility, but this is not always enough.