Sandhya Sharma(name changed on request) 29, a working software professional, she developed symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, constipation, muscle and joint aches, sluggishness, and intolerance towards cold weather, abnormal and irregular periods, fatigue, and sleeplessness etc. Her skin also turned dry and thick. She got diagnosed with thyroid but she ignored and did not go for regular maintenance check ups. After 1 year when she underwent TSH blood test she got to know that she is suffering from hypothyroidism due to which she is now unable to conceive.
In today’s generation thyroid is very common problem especially post 25 years of age and women are 4 times more prone to thyroid disorders than men. Undiagnosed and untreated thyroid disease can be a cause for infertility or frequent miscarriage.
The thyroid hormone regulates cellular function; abnormal thyroid function can affect your fertility. Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. For women, there is a link between hypothyroidism and infertility. Low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility.
Since standard thyroid blood tests are not sensitive enough to detect low ovarian tissue levels the majority of the time. Women must find a knowledgeable physician who understands that standard tests will often not be useful in detecting low ovarian thyroid levels. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be of many types. Some patients show no symptoms, while others show some marked symptoms like in case of Payal. The symptoms usually depend on the severity of the hormone deficiency and the rate at which it develops in the patient. The symptoms are usually milder at the beginning but develop gradually as the condition deteriorates.
If you feel the above mentioned symptoms immediately go for TSH(thyroid stimulating hormone) test, Chest X-ray, T4 or thyroxin test.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated in many ways. However, a doctor chooses the line of treatment on the basis of a number of variables like the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism, the age of the patient, the size of the thyroid gland and the presence of coexisting medical illnesses.
If you are found to have hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone replacement is very effective in restoring fertility. It may take 1-2 months to normalize your thyroid hormone levels with medication; and once you start medication, you must check your TSH levels to confirm they are in the normal range. You will usually need to continue the medicines for the rest of your life and recheck your thyroid function every 6 months or so.
Millions of people have an undiagnosed thyroid problem, and don’t realize that it is the source of the other health challenges they face. Infertility is a major health threat due to thyroid and many other conditions that are often the direct result of undiagnosed and untreated thyroid conditions. In order to lead a healthy life I would recommend that all patients who recognize any of these symptoms should go for a TSH test.”
Few tips to maintain healthy lifestyle:
- Get proper diagnosis
- Loose weight
- Take ample sleep and omit stress
- Go for regular exercises
- Do not ignore early symptoms
- Take adequate diet
By: Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Expert from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre