Problems conceiving and fertility issues are a source of immense psychological stress for a female. The strides made by medical science towards this issue have definitely impacted the outcome of many couples faced with fertility problems. The techniques used by fertility clinics around the world have helped us better understand the mechanism involved with regard to failure to conceive despite persistent attempts. They have also opened new channels through which more research has become possible for better understanding and makes way for possible interventions for a successful outcome[1].

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From the research that has been done, immune conditions perhaps is a cause for many females with fertility problems. Among the various immune dysfunctions, thyroid abnormalities are believed to be the most common problem among females of reproducing age who are facing problems in conceiving[1].

A study conducted on the role of thyroid in infertility used a sample of 400 females of reproducing age who were not able to conceive showed that about 24% of those females had thyroid related problems. However, after treatment for the condition they were shown to conceive within a span of one year. This article explains the connection between thyroid and infertility and what options are available for females to increase their chances of conceiving[2].

Link Between Female Infertility and Thyroid

Thyroid abnormality such as an underactive thyroid medically termed as hypothyroidism can affect the fertility of a female. This is because an underactive thyroid usually causes sex hormone imbalance and anovulatory cycles in females which impacts their chances of conceiving[1].

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It is believed that majority of females having fertility problems tend to have some form of thyroid disorder or the other. In medical terms, the thyroid hormones regulate the cellular functions in the body which include the cellular function responsible for conceiving. Any abnormality in the functioning of the thyroid thus may lead to fertility problems in both males and females[3].

Hypothyroidism is the main abnormality where there is a deficiency of the thyroid hormones which causes infertility. Low levels of thyroid hormones leads to deficient progesterone which in turn impairs the ability of an individual trying to conceive. Additionally, hypothyroidism also interferes with the ovulation process in the females thus affecting the fertility[3].

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It may also lead to various autoimmune or pituitary gland disorders which again affect the fertility of females. A female with thyroid issue will have unwanted weight gain despite a balanced diet. The female will always be fatigued and lethargic. There may be periods of constipation along with muscle and joint aches. The menstrual cycle of the female will also be erratic and not normal[3].

Some female with thyroid problem also have insomnia or have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. In some cases, the nails of the affected individual also become brittle and fall off and the skin may be abnormally dry. If a female who has problems conceiving and has these above mentioned symptoms then a thyroid check is a must as it might be causing infertility in the female[3].

In fact, it has become a standard practice in fertility clinics to check for thyroid levels in every female who comes in with fertility problems. It is not too difficult to control the thyroid levels[3].

In fact, there are various supplements available which can be used to normalize the levels of the thyroid and restore fertility in a female. The only thing that the patient has to do is keep checking the levels at regular intervals and continue the prescribed medication. There are also certain lifestyle changes that need to be made to keep the thyroid levels in check[3].

If the individual is obese then losing weight through healthy means is the best possible treatment. Coping with stress through meditation and relaxation techniques is also a good way of keeping the thyroid levels controlled. Regular consultation with the physician is mandatory if an individual has thyroid problems and is trying to conceive. It is recommended to adhere to a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle, exercises, and maintaining an ideal weight to keep the thyroid levels normalized[3].

In conclusion: there has been a definite link established between infertility and thyroid. Thus if a female has problems in conceiving then it is mandatory to get the TSH levels drawn as early as possible and wait for the results before heading for expensive procedures for conceiving[3].

If thyroid is found to be the cause of infertility then starting treatment for it in the form of lifestyle modifications and medications for at least three months is mandatory. Once the thyroid levels normalize there is a very high likelihood that the female will be able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby without complications[3].

References:  

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: June 18, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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