If you are struggling with infertility, be sure to have your thyroid checked. This was one of the first tests that my fertility specialist administered when he started trying to figure out why I was unable to conceive. Your doctor can determine if your thyroid is to blame through a simple blood test, so it is one of the least invasive fertility screenings you can undergo.
What is a Thyroid?
Your thyroid is the gland responsible for most of your metabolism. It is located in your neck. If your thyroid produces either too much or too little of the thyroid hormones, then you have a problem. See Understanding Thyroid Problems — the Basics for more basic information about your thyroid.
How Common Are Thyroid Issues?
According to FertilityCommunity.com’s article Thyroid Disease, 1-4% of all adolescents and adults have a defective thyroid gland, and yet it is believed that many more people have the disease but are unaware of it. According to one of my predecessors on this blog, unofficial estimates suggest that up to 20% of women might have thyroid problems. See The Thyroid and Fertility.
How Does the Thyroid Affect Fertility?
Thyroid disease can make it difficult to conceive at all. It can also contribute toward early miscarriage. If you are having trouble conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy, be sure to have your thyroid levels checked.
How Are Thyroid Issues Treated?
Thyroid issues can be treated in a number ways. Some doctors treat thyroid issues through medicine or surgery. Others suggest alternative treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies, exercise, or other lifestyle changes. See Understanding Thyroid Problems – Treatment for more on this topic.
What Does it Feel Like to Have Thyroid Issues?
One of my blog predecessors, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, struggled with thyroid issues and wrote about her experience here. Some of the symptoms she discussed include -
- Dry skin
- Hair falling out
- Having a low body temperature
I know a woman with thyroid problems, and she reports the same issues. Marie says that primary care physicians vary widely in how they treat thyroid issues, so be sure to do your own research on the side.
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