4 de June, 2023

What is Hyperthyroidism and how does it affect fertility?

Ovulatory Factor: Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid is the gland responsible for producing, storing, and releasing two hormones that regulate our body's metabolism: T4 or thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine. It is located in the front part of the neck, below the "Adam's apple", and is characterized by its "butterfly shape".

Conditions that affect the thyroid gland can be due to many causes, however, the relationship between this important gland and fertility is rarely discussed. Generally, they are classified into two main groups: Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism.

Today we will talk about Hyperthyroidism, a condition specific to the Thyroid, and its impact on women's fertility.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the Thyroid gland produces a greater amount of hormones than it should. This condition can occur in anyone, however, it is 8 times more common in women than in men.

How does Hyperthyroidism affect female fertility?

By speeding up metabolism, hyperthyroidism can cause alterations in menstrual periods: making them irregular, causing prolonged amenorrhea, periods with very heavy flow, and even anovulatory periods; this of course triggers problems in female fertility and it is essential to address the condition in order to have a baby at home.


What are the symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?

The symptoms that occur when the thyroid gland is overproducing hormones are:

  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heartbeat and sweating
  • Heat intolerance
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Osteoporosis
  • Brittle hair

What causes hyperthyroidism?

"Graves' Disease" is commonly mentioned as the main cause of Hyperthyroidism. Graves' Disease is considered autoimmune, meaning the patient's immune system, designed to protect their body and help fight diseases, produces antibodies that attack and damage the thyroid. These antibodies act like Thyrotropin (TSH) and cause the gland to produce an excess of thyroid hormone.

Among other causes are:

  • Excessive iodine in the daily diet
  • Cysts in the thyroid
  • Inflammation of the thyroid
  • Benign tumors in the pituitary gland

How is Hyperthyroidism diagnosed?

To diagnose hyperthyroidism, you should see your endocrinology specialist.

Your doctor will begin by examining your neck to determine if the thyroid is smaller or larger than normal. Likewise, they will evaluate your skin, your eyes, your weight, your heart rate, and your temperature for other symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Subsequently, a blood test will be requested to measure the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to give a precise diagnosis. This hormone, produced by the pituitary gland, regulates functioning. The normal range of TSH is between 0.5 and 3.5 mU/ml, so a low TSH level reveals hyperthyroidism

What is the appropriate treatment if you have Hyperthyroidism and want to have a baby?

In most cases, the treatment of thyroid disorders is safe. By consulting with an endocrinology specialist, the best option for your case will be determined so you can have a baby.

Specifically, the treatment of hyperthyroidism is carried out with anti-thyroid drugs, which effectively reduce the amount of thyroid hormones the body produces. Certain cases of hyperthyroidism require the use of radioactive iodine to destroy parts of the thyroid gland and stop the excessive production of hormones. It is important that the administered medications are under strict medical control.

Almost always, medications to treat thyroid disorders have a favorable prognosis and manage to normalize the level of thyroid hormones, remedying symptoms and restoring fertility in a short time. Once pregnancy is achieved, checks with the specialist should continue in the same way.

However, when medications are not enough, the best option is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproduction technique that occurs in a laboratory and has excellent guarantees of success. The steps to follow include:

1.- Ovarian stimulation: This process lasts around 10 days during which the woman takes medications that stimulate her egg production. The administration of medications should always be monitored by an experienced reproduction specialist to avoid derived risks.

2.- Egg Retrieval: Here the extraction of eggs occurs through an ultrasound adapted with an attachment that has a needle that goes through the vaginal wall until it reaches the ovaries, where it sucks the follicles to obtain mature eggs.

3.- Fertilization: A semen sample is processed through a technique known as sperm capacitation. Once the best sperm are obtained, they are placed together with the best eggs on a laboratory plate to allow fertilization to take place.

4.- Embryo culture: when they are fertilized, the eggs become embryos, these are kept in special incubators inside the assisted reproduction laboratory.

5.- Embryo transfer: The embryos are placed inside the maternal uterus using a very thin catheter that is inserted vaginally. This technique is performed under the guidance of abdominal ultrasound, it is painless and takes only a few minutes.

However, each case is unique and the way to treat it as well. Therefore, we recommend that you go to Ingenes so that an assisted reproduction specialist evaluates your case and with a timely diagnosis recommends the appropriate comprehensive program for you to have your baby at home.

At Ingenes we have the highest success rates in Latin America and we have the best staff to help you have a baby.

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