Pregnant with Hypothyroidism

Updated on March 28, 2010
K.F. asks from Sunbury, OH
11 answers

I am currently 9 weeks pregnant. I went for my first OB appointment at 8 weeks. I had an ultrasound and everything is fine so far, but I also had blood work done and I got a call a few days later saying my TSH levels are low and they need me to come back for more blood work. I didn't really understand what TSH levels were or anything so I started researching online and found out it is probably due to Hypothyroidism (which I had never heard of before) and now I am really worried. I know that as long as I take medication everything should be fine but I still haven't received my results from the follow up blood work ( I called the OB office and was told this test may take a little longer) so I am not on any medication and until then I am at risk for a miscarriage because the baby is relying on my thyroid until 12 weeks and I feel like I am running out of time. I would just like to hear from other women who have experienced Hypothyroidism during pregnancy and if any of you were diagnosed once you became pregnant did you start the medication as late as 9 weeks and still have everything turn out okay?? Thank You!!

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So What Happened?

First of all thank you to everyone who replied, that really helped to put my mind at ease!! I just called my OB office to get the results because it has been over a week since the follow up blood work was done and they hadn't called me yet. They told me that they got the results and everything is fine?! I guess I just don't understand how my TSH levels can be low and then all of a sudden everything is fine? I really didn't ask questions because I didn't even know what to ask but I go there next week so hopefully someone can explain all of this to me. THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE!!!!

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

I didn't see this post initially, but wanted to follow up on your "what happened". I've also got hashimotos thyroiditis, so I know a lot more about the thyroid than most...

The TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is the brain telling the thyroid to create hormone. If it's low, then you actually may be hyper thyroid, not hypo (TSH goes up when you are hypo). Anyway, as someone else pointed out TSH itself isn't what the body uses, it's T4 and T3 that need to be in normal ranges.

In a nutshell, the thyroid creates T3, the body converts it to T4 (not sure how) and uses the T4. If you have too little T4/T3 (hypothyroidism), your TSH goes up to tell the thyroid it needs to create more T3, if too much(hyperthyroid), your TSH goes down. As far as I know, hypo is more common in general, and during pregnancy.

It sounds like your T3 and T4 levels are ok and that is why everything is fine.
I would just have it checked periodically through the pregnancy, since things will continue to change :-).

I had to increase my T4 dose during my pregnancy, but not until the 2nd or 3rd trimester (don't remember) and ended up staying at the higher dose afterward (my daugher will be 3 in May)

And if you do end up on medication, you are taking a hormone (more than likely T4) to supplement what your body would normally create, so it is totally safe during pregnancy.

Hope that helps. Enjoy. It's an amazing ride.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Dear K.F.
Just wanted to let you know that LOW TSH levels mean you probably have Hyperthyroid, which if left untreated can cause multple problems. I'm glad your TSH levels increased to a "normal" level according to your OB, but any type of thyroid imbalance should be a concern, unlike all the previous advice telling you "not to worry, everyone has thyroid problems," and other nonsense.

TSH is the worst indicator for sumarizing how the Thyroid is functioning. You should also have your T3, T4, FreeT3, and FreeT4 and T4 uptake levels checked as well. Too bad for you, your doctor will not deem them medically necessary since your TSH is seemingly fine again. And don't think that for one minute if you get placed on Thyroid medication that you are now going to be healthy. You need to know why your thyroid is not functioning in the first place! Hormone replacement therapy for the Thyroid is for life if it's managed incorrectly based on the TSH. Yes, your Thyroid is probably wacky during pregnancy because of hormone shifts. This should indicate to you that you are not healthy. Be sure to have your Thyroid checked after birth allow with Thyroid antibody tests to rule out autoimmune dysfunction.

This message is long, but someone needed to tell you the truth about your thyroid and since I'm a doctor myself, I couldn't let this one go.

Go to Amazon and look up "Why do I still have Thyroid symptoms when my labs are normal?" This will explain how your thyroid works and what tests you need to get a good picture of how your body is functioning.

With utmost care and concern for your health,
Dr. V.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

Yes! I had hypothyroidism BEFORE conceiving and was on the medication the entire time I was pregnant...low and healthy baby boy who is now 2-1/2. The thyroid medication is one of the least harmful to take while being pregnant. Good luck...have faith! I was a worrier...and it just does no good! :0)



answers from Detroit on

I was diagnosed with hypothroidism while pregnant with my 2nd child. I believe it was the third or fourth month before I started any medication and everything was ok. I had to start seeing an endocrinologist specialist to monitor things, but it seemed like just an extra appointment to keep - but better safe than sorry I guess. I am praying that all will go well with you.



answers from Saginaw on

don't worry at all....Hypothroid is ridiculously'll be fine.



answers from Detroit on

I have an auto-immune form of hypothyroidism called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Basically it means my thyroid functions normally, but my body thinks it is doing something wrong and attacks the hormones. Don't stress too much over the TSH level right now. TSH is the hormone that stimulates the thyroid to function properly - it is the free T4 that they really worry about. TSH can be on the low side and still have enough free T4 to function properly.

That being said, make sure you follow-up with your doctor. During the second trimester is when the levels really start to fluctuate and can be dangerous to baby (and give you lots of side effects) if not treated. I have had mine checked 3 times during this pregnancy, and I am at 32 weeks pregnant right now. So it isn't a big deal - they can usually do the tests when you are having other blood work done so you don't have to get poked too much. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

TSH can be low, and can indicate hypo or hyperthyroid, depending on whether the cause of the low TSH is low thyroid levels or if it is from the hypothalamic-pituitary axis not functioning properly(less likely). However, since you went in and did more blood-work, my guess is that they looked at a thyroid panel, including free T4 and T3. If these levels were fine, since they are a more accurate picture of thyroid hormone in your body, then you are probably good. However, I would ask for more complete information about what was concerning and how they determined it was ok now. It is your right to have all the info, and to really understand your health and well-being. If they are not willing to explain, then find a new doctor while it is still early in the pregnancy.



answers from Boston on

I know I am late with this and you already posted a so what happened but....sometimes morning sickness can affect the tsh results. I had horrible hyperemesis (ended up on zofran) for both pregnancies, and both times my tsh came back abnormal, the first time I had to see and Endocrinologist for it, everything was fine once the vomiting stopped.
Just try to relax and not worry too much (easier said than done I know).

mom of two beautiful girls...ages 3 and 6



answers from Minneapolis on

Don't worry too much! Had an ultrasound I bet you saw the heartbeat right! I was first put on medication at 11 weeks with my first because I didn't have an ob apt before then! Everything turned out fine! I was on it the whole pregnancy after that and while breastfeeding.



answers from Detroit on

Good Morning, KF---Try not to worry too much. That might have an even bigger impact on your baby than problems with your thyroid. Your body is going through some massive changes right now. It's amazing what kinds of 'side-effects' occur because of it.

My recommendation is to be sure you are eating an OPTIMAL diet, one that is primarily plant-based. Eating lots and LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, will give your body the building blocks to help every cell in your body function to the best of it's ability. An optimal diet consists of 85-90% plants and the remainder can be animal protein. Americans eat way too much and too much increases risks of all kinds of disease. Please read The China Study by T Colin Campbell, or explore to learn more. There are also studies that have shown fatty streaks in the blood vessels of fetus' with a diet of too much animal proteins (because of saturated fats) and processed foods. The UofM Dept of Integrative Medicine suggests we eat a minimum of 10 servings of fruit and veg each day. You would do well to eat more.

This diet, will also help the thyroid. Will it eliminate the hypothyroidism? Who knows. Wouldn't it be nice if our bodies would just tell us. Outside of that, we need to give it the building blocks in order to do what it knows how to do. I am NOT suggesting your diet is poor, but sometimes, the body requires more of us dietarily; when we are sick, with strenuous exercise and when we are creating a new life. I also believe that our conventionally grown food no longer contains enough nutrition to prevent disease.

I've been taking a series of wellness classes taught by a Naturopath who has her PhD in Nutrition. I have lots of articles and reports on studies to back up my advice. In fact, I have several that show a relationship between increased fruit and veggie consumption and a reduction of pregnancy related complications, such as pre-enclampsia, pre-term births, neonatal intensive care and low birth weight babies.

Be sure you are getting lots of sleep, filtered water and EXERCISE. Studies show that babies born of moms who exercise have stronger hearts themselves.

So, how do you eat that much fruit and veg. I have lots of recipes and ideas I'd love to share. If you are interested, please give me a call. It is my passion to help others learn why and how to optimize their diet. Good luck and take care, D. ###-###-####



answers from Dallas on

I'm a little late...
Be sure to have your thyroid checked throughout your pregnancy - your doctor should order this up.

When I was pregnant, I had to get bloodwork done at a separate location (like Quest) and not at the doctor's office. Anyway, I would actually request to do the bloodwork a week BEFORE my OB's appointment. That way, I had the results DURING the office visit so we could talk about the results face too face. My Endocrinologist does this - I'm not sure why other doctors don't do this.

Some ladies have Thyroid problems just during pregnancy and that's it. Some develop problems before or after.

If you feel uncomfortable with the way your OB is handling your Thyroid, see if you can visit an Endo since that is what they specialize in.

Good luck with your pregnancy!

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