For some women, the cause of their infertility issues could be a direct result of a malfunctioning thyroid. Infertility testing involves many steps and procedures, and a thyroid blood test will be one of the blood tests the fertility specialist will use to determine the possible causes of infertility.
What Is a Thyroid Test?
A thyroid test is a simple blood test that will indicate whether or not your thyroid gland is functioning properly. Blood will be drawn and sent to the lab for analysis. Disorders of the thyroid can be easily detected.
Two main thyroid conditions that can contribute to infertility problems include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid is not receiving enough of the thyroid stimulating hormone. With hyperthyroidism, the body is producing too much of the thyroid hormone.
How Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism Affect Fertility
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, when not controlled, can equally cause complications for a woman's fertility. Both disorders of the thyroid can be easily tested. The treatment for each condition is relatively simple to treat as well.
If you have hypothyroidism, the doctor will prescribe a synthetic hormone that you must take once a day. Generally, most people with hypothyroidism must take this synthetic hormone for the rest of their lives. If your lab values indicate that you have hyperthyroidism, then the doctor will prescribe a medication that will bring the production of the thyroid stimulating hormone back down to a normal range.
Studies have shown that untreated or undertreated thryroid disorders can lead to infertility problems. Something as simple as a thyroid disorder could inhibit conception. Both thyroid disorders share some key traits as to why they can prevent conception. Both disorders have been known to cause a woman to have an irregular menstrual cycle. In some cases, women stop ovulating for a period of time when the thyroid is not functioning properly due to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders
If you have hypothyroidism that has not yet been diagnosed or in not being treated, you may notice an unwarranted gain in weight. This is due to the thyroid not being able to regulate metabolism. You may notice thinning of the hair, irregular or halted menses, a deeper voice and fatigue. Hyperthyroidism should be suspected if you experience unintended weight loss. Since the body is overproducing the thyroid hormone, the body is metabolizing at a much higher rate. Those with hyperthyroidism may notice skipped periods and may also report heart palpitations and difficulty sleeping.
A thyroid test is usually a standard infertility test and if the results of your thyroid test show that you do in fact have a thyroid disorder, then the use of prescription thyroid medications may cure your infertility condition. However, this is not always the case. You may finally get diagnosed and treated for your thyroid disorder but still have difficulty conceiving. For this reason, a thyroid test is not the only infertility test a doctor will use. This condition has the ability to cause fertility problems, but it may not be the cause of infertility for you.