Low thyroid functioning may be directly linked to negative impact on women's reproductive health, medical experts here said on Monday.
According to them, Hypothyroidism — when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone — is more common a cause for infertility and miscarriage in women than most of them realize.
"Thyroid disorders are very common during pregnancy. Over 25 per cent women develop hypothyroidism during the 6th week. Secretion of thyroid hormone is important for both placental and foetal development and the level needs to increase by 50 per cent during pregnancy to accommodate the increased metabolic needs of both mother and foetus," said Arvind Vaid, IVF Expert at Indira IVF Hospitals.
He said: "When a mother's body fails to secrete enough of it against the demand, the risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth, low birth weight, and postnatal developmental issues become higher."
According to the experts, the thyroid is a key link to complete body wellness. When thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones; it interferes with the release of egg from ovaries during ovulation and impairs fertility.
"Conception is more difficult for hypothyroid women due to associated ovarian dysfunction. Women with thyroid disorders often have menstrual cycle abnormalities such as flooding, scanty periods or irregular cycles," said Nagpur-based infertility expert Mayuri Assudani.
According to her, a negative feedback loop exists between the ovarian and the thyroid hormones which are needed for egg follicle maturation and ovarian production of estrogen and progesterone.
"Hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, ovaries, and adrenals — all these glands are interconnected like a spider web. Hence imbalance in one part of the web will influence the other glands and hormones in the system," said Assudani.
The experts have also urged the women to keep a check on her hypothyroidism to become pregnant. Close monitoring of the thyroid hormone level during pregnancy is essential to promote normal foetal development and reduce the chances of miscarriage.
"The most common cause of hypothyroid is autoimmune disease or improper medications and use of lithium. Family history of thyroid disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), can be a reason for risk. After developing hypothyroidism, women has reduced libido, menstrual abnormalities and may have difficulty in conceiving," said Assudani.