Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid is under active. The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It is responsible for secreting hormones that help control metabolism. In some cases, the menstrual cycle and ovulation can be affected by untreated hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue and weight gain. In some cases, the thyroid can interfere with ovulation. You may not be ovulating regularly if you have hypothyroidism and aren’t getting pregnant. If you have irregular cycles, this is another warning sign.
In addition to affecting ovulation, hypothyroidism can cause problems later in the cycle. Some women with this disorder do ovulate, but have a short luteal phase. The luteal phase is the time from ovulation until the start of the next menstrual cycle. It is during this phase that the fertilized egg moves into the uterus and implants in the lining.
The typical luteal phase is between thirteen and fifteen days. A shorter phase can result in a failure to sustain a pregnancy even after conception has occurred. This is often mistaken for infertility and the lost embryo is often mistaken for a period, since the pregnancy would be lost at about the time the cycle was due to start.
If you think you have hypothyroidism, discuss it with your doctor. Your doctor can perform tests to see if hypothyroidism is a problem. Some women with hypothyroidism have polycystic ovaries as well, so your doctor may test for this condition as well. Once the results are in, your doctor can prescribe medication and help get your condition under control so that you can safely conceive and carry a healthy baby.
It’s important to get the condition under control before you get pregnant. If the condition is not treated, complications can occur in the pregnancy. During pregnancy, placental abruption, still birth or pre eclampsia can occur.
Treating hypothyroidism can help prevent lasting negative effects on your baby. A severe case of hypothyroidism can have a negative effect on the baby’s brain development.