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Why You Should Be Concerned about Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy

by | December 15, 2018

Hypothyroidism and pregnancy; The thyroid hormone is essential for baby’s brain development during the first three months of pregnancy. Because of this, during pregnancy, your thyroid needs kick into overdrive to produce more hormones. If your thyroid is underactive and isn’t producing enough hormones, there is a risk for serious complications. If left untreated an underactive thyroid can cause serious problems during pregnancy including; miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight babies and learning disabilities later in life.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Some symptoms linked to hypothyroidism are; fatigue, swelling, dry skin, constipation, and weight gain. It can be difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of hypothyroidism and the usual symptoms of pregnancy. Hypothyroidism is actually pretty uncommon during pregnancy as it

hypothyroidism and pregnancy
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Are There any Tests for Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy?

Your doctor can perform a blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels for hypothyroidism and pregnancy .

Are there Treatments for Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy?

There are certain medications that your doctor can prescribe for you to take that is safe to take during pregnancy.  Women who have hypothyroidism and pregnancy may need a higher dosage to reduce the risk of complications. Your doctor will want to monitor you more closely with more frequent office visits.

hypothyroidism and pregnancy
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Will Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy Harm Your Baby?

If hypothyroidism is left untreated,  it can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight and learning disabilities later in life.

If I Already Have Hypothyroidism is it Safe to Get Pregnant?

Women with a pre-existing diagnosis of hypothyroidism can often have fertility issues. Although, if you do become pregnant, a previous diagnosis of the disease will let your doctor know to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Will Hypothyroidism Affect Me After Pregnancy?

A small percentage of women – about 5-10 percent, will develop a condition where the thyroid gets inflamed. If left untreated it can develop into hypothyroidism, which will need ongoing treatment. This condition has symptoms very similar to postpartum depression such as; irritability, and exhaustion, so it can often go undiagnosed.

If you are trying to conceive or if you are already pregnant and you’re concerned that you may have hypothyroidism, please speak with your healthcare professional.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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