By Cristina Mestre Ferrer BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 09/04/2015

Problems derived from the thyroid gland are common among young women (from age 25 to 45). Such thyroid hormone alterations may lead to female infertility, causing therefore trouble conceiving and preventing pregnancy to be achieved.

The function of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s metabolic rate. Besides, it also produces a series of hormones that are responsible for measuring the body’s response to other hormones. Thyroid hormone alterations may be caused by:

  • Over- or under-function of the thyroid gland.
  • Alterations in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland.
  • Hormone sensitivity problems.

Trouble conceiving

Women experiencing trouble getting pregnant are recommended to undergo a series of medical examinations to check whether there is some fertility problem, including the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test to check the presence of subfertility.

In addition to infertility, hypothyroidism —also known as underactive thyroid disease— may cause problems with prenatal development and increase the chances of having a miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy if the appropriate treatment is not provided.

Once a malfunction of the thyroid gland is diagnosed, you will be prescribed the adequate dose of hormones that helps stabilize your metabolism thanks to the proper functioning of the gland. With the right treatment, the likelihood of achieving pregnancy will increase and, conversely, the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester will drop. Furthermore, other symptoms such as the loss of libido or mood swings will get better, too.

After the medication is given, restarting the ovarian cycle and therefore having regular menstrual cycles is possible. While on medication, it is common that a check-up with an ultrasound scan is carried out to check how female fertility is behaving.

The most common type of thyroid hormone alteration affecting women of childbearing age is chronic thyroiditis, also called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease. This disease is caused by a malfunction in the immune system, where antibodies against the thyroid gland are produced. Although the gland continues working, the presence of antibodies may cause female sterility.

If after taking a hormone replacement therapy your hormone levels do not get better, chances of achieving a natural pregnancy are very low. Therefore, resorting to assisted reproductive technology will be the best option to get pregnant.

Sharing is caring

Our editors have made great efforts to create this content for you. By sharing this post, you are helping us to keep ourselves motivated to work even harder.

Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information
Follow us on social media

Find the latest news on assisted reproduction in our channels.