Does Hypothyroidism Increase the Risk of Miscarriage?

hypothyroidism in pregnancy - Sriramakrishnahospital

You may worry that hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, could lead to complications during pregnancy or a miscarriage if you have been diagnosed with it. On the contrary, hypothyroidism in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage; therefore, knowing this illness’s symptoms is crucial.

Here’s an overview of what is thyroid organ:

Thyroid hormones are involved in many processes throughout the body, and they are produced by a gland in the neck (above the collarbone). You can’t have a healthy metabolism or hormonal equilibrium without it. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it’s likely that other parts of your body, including pregnancy, won’t be, either.

What is referred to as hypothyroidism?

The hormones secreted by the thyroid regulate your metabolism. Slowing of these processes is a symptom of hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid fails to generate enough thyroid hormone to maintain them at a healthy pace. Whether or not you have a healthy pregnancy is just one of many ways this might affect your health.

Understanding the signs associated with hypothyroidism during pregnancy:

Some indications and thyroid in pregnancy symptoms, including a higher heart rate, difficulty dealing with heat, and fatigue, frequently occur in normal pregnancies.

Other symptoms and indications of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Fast and irregular heartbeat
  • Shaky hands
  • Unexplained weight loss or failure to gain a typical amount of weight during pregnancy

How does hypothyroidism affect the fetus?

Thyroid hormones are essential for the development of the fetus throughout the first few months of pregnancy. Therefore, fetal brain growth and development depend on thyroid levels in pregnancy. Conversely, fetal hypothyroidism can have severe consequences for the mother.

Hypothyroidism in pregnant women:

Your health and the well-being of your developing baby depend on your thyroid regularly operating during pregnancy. Hypothyroidism in pregnancy is at risk for various complications:

  • Anemia
  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Rarely, congestive heart failure can occur
  • Stillbirth

What might lead to hypothyroidism in pregnant women?

The most common cause of hypothyroidism in pregnancy is Graves’ disease. Graves’ illness is an autoimmune ailment. In this condition, the immune system produces antibodies that induce the thyroid to produce excessive thyroid hormone. This antibody is known as TSI or thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin.

The onset of Graves’ illness may occur during pregnancy. If you have Graves’ disease, your symptoms may improve during the second and third trimesters. Some sections of your immune system are less active later in pregnancy; therefore, your immune system makes less TSI. This may explain why the symptoms improve. 

Graves’ illness frequently worsens during the first few months after the birth of a child, when TSI levels rise again. Throughout your pregnancy, if you have Graves’ disease, your doctor will likely test your thyroid function monthly and may need to treat your hyperthyroidism. Excessive thyroid hormone levels might be hazardous to your health and your unborn child.

Rarely, hyperthyroidism during pregnancy is associated with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness and vomiting that can cause weight loss and dehydration. According to experts, this acute nausea and vomiting are caused by elevated hCG levels during the early stages of pregnancy. High hCG levels can cause excess thyroid hormone production. Typically, this form of hyperthyroidism disappears during the second half of pregnancy.

Infrequently, one or more nodules or masses in the thyroid produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

How does hypothyroidism affect fertility and babies in pregnancy?

Ovulation can be impeded by hypothyroidism, leading to an egg stuck in the ovary (ovulation). An egg is typically released from the ovary once a month during menstruation. In contrast, women with hypothyroidism may experience diminished or no egg production.

An embryo’s growth may be negatively impacted by hypothyroidism (fertilized egg). Because of this, the possibility of having a miscarriage rise. Untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy also increases the risk that the baby may be born prematurely (before the due date), underweight, and with developmental delays.

If a patient wishes to have a child or is currently pregnant, it is crucial that their thyroid hormone levels be evaluated and that they receive the proper treatment.

How is hypothyroidism tested?

The primary test used to diagnose hypothyroidism is testing TSH levels in the blood. An increased TSH level indicates that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland has responded by producing more TSH to normalize the thyroid hormone levels.

Other thyroid tests during pregnancy include T4 and thyroid autoantibody measurement. Antibodies are molecules the immune system produces to protect the body against bacterial and viral illnesses. Occasionally, the immune system can produce antibodies against the body itself, such as antibodies against the thyroid. 

T4 is an endogenous hormone generated by the thyroid gland. It is frequently low in hypothyroidism individuals. Autoantibodies target the cells and tissues of the organism that produced them. Patients with Hashimoto’s (autoimmune) thyroiditis have thyroid antibodies.

Does hypothyroidism increase the risk of miscarriage?

Even mild hypothyroidism can raise the risk of miscarriage and fetal mortality, and it may also impair the cognitive development of offspring in the future.

How is hypothyroidism treated in women dealing with pregnancy?

The mother is treated with thyroid hormone replacement. How much thyroid hormone replacement therapy a person needs depends on how much thyroid hormone they already have. During pregnancy, the level of thyroid hormones can change. And the amount of thyroid replacement may change as well. 

The thyroid hormone level must be checked every four weeks during the first half of pregnancy. The treatment is safe and important for the mother and the unborn child. Thyroid hormone levels are checked on all newborns as part of their regular checkups.

Outlook of the condition:

Hypothyroidism is a health condition that is easy to treat and usually has a good outlook with the proper care. It may take some time to find the correct dose of medicine for you, but once you do, you should start to feel better within a couple of weeks. If you don’t, get medical help immediately from your pregnancy specialist doctor.

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