The thyroid and its regulation is one of the concerns that women trying to conceive or having fertility treatments are worried about.
But how can this affect your fertility?
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which affects every cell in your body. They maintain the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, affect your heart rate and help regulate protein production.
Thyroid irregularities are common in women of childbearing age and these can affect your fertility. Recent studies have confirmed the associations of thyrotropin (TSH) elevation and/or thyroid autoimmunity with infertility and low ovarian reserve in subgroups of women and have led to a better understanding of the pathogenesis linking thyroid autoimmunity to infertility. There is continuing evidence supporting the important role of thyroid hormone in the regulation of reproductive tissues at many levels.
Fertility problems may persist even after normal thyroid function has been restored and then assisted reproductive technology (ART) may be a solution. Prior to an IVF treatment, ovarian stimulation is performed, which leads to high levels of estradiol, which can lead to hypothyroidism in women with thyroid autoimmunity, necessitating the administration of levothyroxine supplements prior to pregnancy. Women with hypothyroidism undergoing levothyroxine therapy prior to IVF should have a serum TSH level below 2.5 mIU/L. Infertile women with hypothyroidism planning an IVF procedure should be advised of the increased risk of complications to the mother and fetus, and hypothyroidism should be restored and maintained for several months prior to IVF treatment and during pregnancy.
For all of the above reasons, women that are trying to conceive (with or without the help of a fertility unit) should be regularly screened for the presence of thyroid disorders.
At Newlife IVF Greece, we consider the screening of your thyroid an essential part of your treatment as we not only wish to achieve a pregnancy but to be able for you to have the best chances of having a healthy live birth without any complications.