Pregnancy and Thyroid

Updated on May 05, 2008
N.O. asks from Canton, MI
26 answers

Hi ladies,

Back in november I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was 7 weeks pregnant with my second child when i found out. At almost my 11th week i found out i had miscarried just shortly after i was diagnosed with the thyroid problem but the baby was not "expelling" as they called it. After getting a D&C, i was just devastated. I have been doing a ton of reading on thyroid conditions and pregnancy and found out that it is not entirely uncommon to have multiple miscarrages with this type of problem (especially since mine was so out of whack) Both my Gyno and Endocrinologist dont think that the thryoid problem had anything to do with my miscarriage. But I am scared to get pregnant again. I've waited 5 cycles so far and now we are ready to try again. I am now under close supervision with my doctors to make sure my numbers are normal throughout this next pregnancy. I was just wonder if there are any other women out there who have dealt or are dealing with thyroid and pregnancy issues and if so any tips??

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who responded. Especially with words of encouragment. You guys are the best!!!

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A.T.

answers from Lansing on

Nancy,

Hi, My name is A.. I had hyperthyroidism and had my thyroid removed when I was 12 years old. Which put me immediately into hypothyroidism. I have been taking synthroid since I was 10. I have 3 healthy children, and 7 healthy grandchildren. Several members of my generation of family, and my parents generation of family also had various problems with thyroid. Thus far none of the next generation of family has developed any thyroid problems. None of us had any complications with pregnancies. I hope this helps you.

A.

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S.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

My daughter has a problem with her thyroid. I know there are different kinds and with hers she could not gain weight. However she went on to have a single baby boy and twin boys after that. So it can be done. My sons girlfriend has a thyroid problem where she is overweight and they have been trying for over a year with no results. I believe when the timing is right it happens. So have faith and be patient. I have had several miscarriages and also had a baby die in utero when i was 20+ weeks along so I understand how hard it is to be patient and how anxious it can be getting/staying pregnant after miscarriages. I wish you the best.

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K.G.

answers from Detroit on

I don't have any exxperiance with this but I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss.
K.

1 mom found this helpful

J.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

YES! First of all, I'm sooh sorry you lost your little baby. I'm sure that is very heartbreaking. :( Many hugs to you. I have hypothyroidism also, and it definately affects pregnancy. You need your TSH to be betweeen 1 and 2 for trying to conceive, and for keeping the baby growing well. If you don't have enough of the TSH circulating, then you will get the most of what you have, and the baby suffers. Hence the possible miscarriages. I am NOT saying this is why you lost your little one. But, it does take about 4-6 weeks for your body to adjust to the medicines needed to get you into the normal range. I lost a baby at 8 weeks, and then found out I had this condition also. So, unfortunately, this happens. If your doctor is monitoring you closely, and taking multiple blood tests along the way (even as soon as 4 weeks pregnant), then he will know if you are in a safe range.
I want to add that I belong to a hypothyroid group on a fertility charting site, and many, many, women have carried to full term, and have beautiful babies. There is no reason why, if monitored, you couldn't carry full term.
Just a note: I'm not pregnant, but I still call my OB and say, "It's been 6 months. Time to have my TSH tested again." They don't necessarily check often, and you should. I highly recommend checking out the book by Mary J. Shomon, called "Living Well With Hypothyroidism." She is a leading expert on this condition, and can answer many of the questions you might have regarding it.
Please feel free to PM me if you have other questions. I'd be glad to help you.
Some other tips: Take your meds in the morning, and wait to eat for about a half hour to an hour. Don't take vitamins close to your meds. I take my vitamins at night before bed. That way the meds can be asorbed with no interference. Also, fiber can interfere with the absorption, so just make sure you wait the hour before breakfast, or eat high fiber foods later in the day.
If you can, order three months of the meds at a time. There are fillers that may change in each new prescription, that may effect you. So, the less change from refill to refill is good. I'm taking Levothyroxine, but, whatever you take may need adjusting, either to a higher/lower dosage, or even a different med. Don't give up on it, until you feel you've found what you feel best on.
Much luck to you.
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.P.

answers from Detroit on

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 8 wks pregnant with my third. I saw my endo weekly for bloodwork and at 12 wks I started taking a low dose of synthroid. My TSH levels have been great since taking the synthroid, and I am not scheduled to go see my endo again until mid-sept. I am now 28 wks pregnant and everything has been great with the baby's growth & development. I was very concerned in the beginning but was relieved to be hypo- rather than hyper- because of the treatment involved with each. Taking replacement thyroid seems to be much safer and have lower risk of affecting the baby's thyroid production. Good luck!

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M.G.

answers from Detroit on

Nancy, I had the same issues, and went through multiple m/c before successfully carrying a pregnancy to term. I saw multiple doctors during my struggle w/ infertility, and many, many doctors do not really understand the impact of thyroid function on fertility and pregnancy. I finally found one who did, thank God. Your TSH should be 0.5 - 2.5. Many labs and doctors will tell you that if your TSH is < 6.5, you're ok. Maybe for staying alive, but not for staying pregnant - at least based on my experience. As soon as you get pregnant, your TSH is going to go up (one time, mine went from maybe 2.2 to over 6 in two weeks, when I confirmed I was pregnant), because your body doesn't make enough, and you have to produce for your baby too. So, you will need to increase your medication dosage as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test. The usual amount of increase needed is 30 - 50% of the dosage you are currently on, but everyone is different and you'll need to be checked to see how your body is reacting. You don't want to go overboard and take too much synthroid, that's not good either.

Here are some resources for you:

www.thyroid.org
There are some patient information brochures on this site

http://www.thyroidmanager.org
This is an on-line textbook of thyroid topics, written by the opinion leaders in the field, and frequently updated. This is not in layman's terms, so if you don't have a science background, you may find it tough going. There is a chapter on thyroid function and pregnancy that is worth slogging through even if you only understand 10% of it.

If your doctor isn't familiar w/ the new guidelines, and isn't willing to read up on this, get a new doctor. He/she is doing you a huge disservice, and you need a doctor who is up on the latest research as there has been a huge amount of research in the last 15 years or so that seems to have changed a lot of long-standing ideas.

I also like http://www.thyroid.about.com/, which is intended for the layperson and has a very good editor (Mary Shoman). I think it was there that I read about taking Synthroid on an empty stomach, and not mixing calcium or iron or other supplements with it. The key is to be consistent, so your body is always seeing a constant dose.

A friend of mine who works for a major pharmaceutical company put me in touch w/ a colleague who works in this area, and he told me "Women who have thyroid dysfunction already should make sure their TSH levels are normalized before becoming pregnant. However, even the concept of "normal" is under review by the scientific community. Nowadays, a TSH of < about 2.5, but > 0.5 is considered "really" normal. People with TSH of 2 - 4 are more likely to have early stages of thyroid failure."

Good luck, sorry this is so long but I had so much info I wanted to pass along to you! You need to be your own advocate. You need to become informed so you can ask intelligent questions. Don't count on your doctor to have a magic wand and make everything right. Medicine is not an exact science, and different doctors know different things.

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K.K.

answers from Saginaw on

Hopefully this puts your mind at ease a little...but I have hypothyroidism, and carried my daughter full term with zero complications...she was even 4 days overdue...

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T.D.

answers from Detroit on

HI, I found out after not being able to get pregnant that I had a thyroid condition. After I was put on meds (levoxyl) in Dec of 06 I got pregnant in May and just delivered a beautiful baby boy. If you have been on meds and you are leveled out I am sure you will be fine. My dr just checked my levels every 2-3 months during the pregnancy. Good Luck!

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D.S.

answers from Detroit on

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism while pregnant with my second child. I was able to get throught hat pregnancy and 2 more. My advice is to get on the medication and just get your level checked periodically to be sure everything is ok. It sounds like your dr is on top of things, but maybe you want to see a specialist while trying to get pregnant and through the pregnancy. I was referred to an endocrinologist to be cared for during that pregnancy when I was first diagnosed.

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S.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Nancy,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I wish you and your family the best as you prepare for another pregnancy. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism. They discovered this at my 1st OBGYN appointment after I found out I was pregnant. Throughout the 1st two trimesters I continued to have elevated thyroid levels and a goiter. Since then, my levels have evened out but I still have a goiter and nodules on my thyroid, though the endo. is not concerned at this point. Besides the thyroid problems (which were not treated with meds) I had a very healthy pregnancy. My son had some problems after delivery and they even tested him for thyroid problems but everything tested fine. While I was a little on edge because of the test results,everything worked out fine and I wish the same for you during your next pregnancy. I have a happy, healthy 4 month old and hope that you will have a new addition to your family soon.

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J.K.

answers from Detroit on

Just a word of encouragement. I've had hypothyroidism since high school, controlled by synthroid. I had 5 full-term pregnancies, 5 healthy kids and no miscarriages. Don't worry too much! :-)

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S.D.

answers from Detroit on

Nancy - let me give you my brief history.
I had 2 miscarriages then 2 healthy pregancies.
2 years later I had another miscarriage. That is when they found my thryroid issues and put me on thyroid medication. I then got pregnant again. Healthy pregnancy and my thyroid was watched. During the pregnancy they had to change my dosage of thyroid meds but really it was not a big deal. No one made a big deal about it and my son will be 5 on Friday.
So many of my girlfriends have thyroid issues. Just make sure that you have a doctors that you trust - obviously.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about this.
Good Luck

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S.M.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello Nancy, I'm not able to give you any advice on hypothyroidism, but I do want to say how sorry I am that you lost you baby. My oldest, also lost my first grandbaby, but was able to get pregnant again. Ironically she gave birth on the same day that she lost the first one. She told me that God was letting her know that things would be ok. He is now 4 months, healthy and growing like a weed. Good luck. P.S., My mother has thyroid cancer at the age of 18, had to have her gland removed, so she took meds the rest of her life. Yet still had five healthy kids. And the science was not as good back in the 50's and 60's as it is now. So don't give up hope.

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C.C.

answers from Detroit on

Nancy,

My sister's thyroid was always enlarged, even as a teenager. When she was pregnant with her first child it grew alot more. She developed Hashimoto disease and they removed her thyroid when her son was a couple of years old. She now takes a replacement medication and actually had her second son six years later. They followed her progress very closely with the second child to make sure her thyroid levels were where they needed to be.

I don't think your case is near as severe so I'm sure things will work out fine. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I too have suffered a miscarriage and know how hard that is to go through. My prayers are with you and your family. Don't give up because there is no great gain without great losses.

If you want more info just send me a pm.

Take care!

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L.S.

answers from Detroit on

Good morning Nancy! I had Grave's disease in 1988 and in 1990 the "cure" for the Grave's disease caused my thyroid to die completely. I have been on medication since 1990 and had a little boy born March 7, 1991 and another December 8, 1992. I had no complications caused by thyroid at all!! Rest assured that if your levels are monitered and on even keel, there are no problems caused by that! L. S.

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K.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have had a thyroid condition since I was a young teenager. I was unaware that this condition could and would affect my ovulation as well as pregnancies. I have other conditions so it has never been stated that it is my thyroid, but I have 2 healthy children and also had 3 miscarriages. Take care of yourself, eat right, take your meds exactly as directed and just stay strong! Best of luck. :)

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L.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi Nancy! Just for a little background info. I've had hypothyroidism for over 10 years and had 2 healthy pregnancies. You should work closely with your doctor to check your levels often throughout your pregnancy and especially post partum. I've found that Armour thyroid does a lot more to keep up my energy, which is related to the fact that it has T3 & T4 hormones as well as some other ingredients that are important to Thyroid function. You can learn about this and how regulating your thyroid relates in pregnancy from http://thyroid.about.com/cs/pregnantfertility/a/pregnancy...
Mary Showman is a thyroid patient herself as well as a patient advocate and she has so much wisdom on this issue to share... whether you are looking for something natural, like me, or you want to be more medical in your care, she has all the info. you need to learn and figure out what is best for you and your baby! (I'm a fan, can you tell?) LOL. Anywho- the good news is this is very treatable and you can live well with hypothyroidism. Blessings to you as you TTC.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Nancy,
My sincerest, empathetic condolenses. I've been the miscarriage route 3 times. First time was devastating. I was alone and in a foreign country. Not a positive experience. But I came to the conclusion that my body just wasn't used to this major change and therefore dealt with it in its own way. I found that if I went too long to get pregnant, this would be the outcome. I could be WAY off base, but it made sense to me. I didn't think of other reasons. And no one suggested a possible reason for miscarrying.
But tell you what; don't let it scare you too much. It really isn't unnatural. Take the healing time to get yourself in prime physical condition, good health, etc. Make sure, if it puts your mind at ease, there's no thyroid problem. I personally would go an alternative health route just because if you're put on meds, and conventional doctors like to treat everything with meds, how long are those meds going to stay in your system and possible affect a planned baby's health. To use herbal, holistic, etc methods, there's no endangerment.

Many hugs to you, Nancy. I've been in your shoes. You'll be fine, girl. Give yourself time. And best of luck!

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C.P.

answers from Detroit on

Hi nancy,

one of my friends went through this same thing. She had her first child just fine.for a period of 7 yrs she had 5 miscarrages. They didnt figure out she had a thyroid problem obviously until after she miscarried so many times and became a high risk pregnancy. But after they put her on the right medication she has had 2 more children. I know she told me she never had a problem getting pregnant it was just staying pregnant. I think i remember her telling me that they had her take baby aspirin. Just hang in there. I know they waited about 9 months to maybe a year before trying again just to make sure her body adjusted to the medicine. I think her thyroid was inactive, so they may have done different with her. I hope i was able to give you a little insight on things.

C.

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S.S.

answers from Saginaw on

I was 3 months along with my daughter when I was Dx. I had my thyroid removed when I was 5 months along. The only problem I have had is due to the antithyroid it messed up my daughters so she now had to take a thyroid replacement the rest of her life. All I can say is if your on an antithyroid then either have the thyroid removed or go and have the radiation treatment done before you get pregnant again. My daughter is doing great and is now 6 years old and the smartest of my 3 children. I hope this helps you some.

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R.M.

answers from Detroit on

i also have thyroid problems, but mine is hyper. I found out after my 1st child. Then I got PG with my 2nd and remained on meds. I was scared of the effect it would have on my child. Like would his thyroid be effected.
I am not sure how long you have had Hypothyroid, but it took me awhile to adjust with my emotions. I felt crazy. I didn't realize it until my levels were normal again. I recently got radition to put me in a hypo active state.
I understand what you are going through and just wanted to let you know I understand.

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M.K.

answers from Detroit on

YES!! I had 3 miscarriages. I also had hypothyroidism but was taking synthroid to bring me within normal range of metabolism. In all 3 cases, none of the OBs ordered to have my synthroid medication increased. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid may not "kick up" a gear in order to support the life you are carrying. Thus, by the 13th week (in my case) all 3 of my pregnancies miscarried. In order to support that extra life you are carrying, your synthroid medication must be increased in dosage!

Before you get pregnant, talk with your endocrinologist. If you are not taking synthroid, get a Rx from the endocrinologist. If he/she refuses, find another endocrinologist. I can recommend mine. He's really, really good. I don't know where you live, but if he is too far, he can recommend one in your area. He has 2 offices in Ypsilanti and Livonia.

I don't the protocol of this website regarding giving out email addresses, but your situation is very close to my heart.

It is [email protected]____.com

I will be praying for you. God bless.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Never having conceived, I can't talk about thyroid vs. that, but I can talk about a natural way to support thyroid function if you want.

I am sorry for your loss and would like to help!

S.
[email protected]____.com

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L.E.

answers from Detroit on

I am a mom of 2 who just finished 3 years of grad school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)...First of all I'm sorry about your loss and know that must have been a very difficult experience. I haven't experienced this myself, but I have seen many, many women carry healthy pregnancies to term with both hypo and hyperthyroidism. So I just wanted to send out a word of encouragement. The most important thing is that it is diagnosed and treated appropriately. If that is the case, and you are closely followed by doctors, and you follow their advice, then you should absolutely keep trying if you want another child!

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N.A.

answers from Lansing on

I have been on synthroid for 5 years and on meds during my last pregnancy and had no problems at all. As a matter of fact is was my easiest pregnancy. I think since it was the first my thyroid was correct.

i am so sorry for your miscarriage, that must be really hard and also very scarey.

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H.B.

answers from Detroit on

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 18 years old. I was monitored very closely, at least a once a month blood draw, and I have 4 kids, and have had no miscarriages (that I know of) :)

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