Thyroid Disease, Fertility, and Pregnancy Loss

Thyroid Disease, Fertility, and Pregnancy Loss

Thyroid disease is common in women and can lead to pregnancy loss or poor fetal brain development.

The thyroid is a gland that sits at the front of the throat and produces thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate a wide variety of essential bodily functions and support a healthy pregnancy.

The body’s need for thyroid hormones increases dramatically with pregnancy.

If the thyroid gland is unable to meet the demand for more thyroid hormones, it can result in a pregnancy loss or poor brain development in the baby.

How do I know if I have a thyroid disease?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Hair loss
  • Miscarriage

Testing for thyroid disease

Thyroid disease is diagnosed with a blood test. Thyroid hormones are routinely tested as part of a standard fertility workup.

If a woman is getting pregnant easily, she may not have her thyroid hormone levels tested until after she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

A blood test will measure the levels of thyroid hormones and may include:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Free T4 (a thyroid hormone)
  • Free T3 (a thyroid hormone)
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies

Treatment for thyroid disease

The good news is that thyroid hormone levels can be managed with prescription thyroid hormones that are taken in pill form and this can prevent pregnancy loss.

Additional support, such as acupuncture and good nutrition, can go further in reducing the many uncomfortable symptoms associated with abnormal hormone levels.

If you live in the Bay Area and would like to work with us:

We’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan for addressing your thyroid disease and supporting your fertility.

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac.
Medical Director
Fertility Acupuncturist Oakland
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