Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in a woman’s life, but it’s not that easy to experience it. During pregnancy, a woman goes through various complications. One such relatively common complication is a disorder in the thyroid during pregnancy.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland present at your neck. It releases hormones that regulate many physiological functions such as metabolism, weight, heart, nervous system, and body temperature.
During the first three months of pregnancy, the thyroid hormones play a crucial role in assuring the healthy development of the foetal brain and nervous system. At this stage, the baby depends on the thyroid hormones that he/she receives through the placenta. At around 12 weeks, the foetal thyroid gland starts producing its own hormones. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure proper thyroid functioning during your pregnancy.
If your thyroid gland makes too little or too much of certain thyroid hormones, you have a thyroid disorder. Some women have a preexisting thyroid condition while others develop disorders in the thyroid during pregnancy or soon after delivery.
Types of Thyroid Disorders
There are two main types of thyroid disorders:
- Hyperthyroidism: This occurs when the thyroid is overactive (release of too many thyroid hormones). This is usually caused by an autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease.
- Hypothyroidism: This occurs when the thyroid is underactive (release of too little hormones). This is usually caused by an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism if left untreated can cause serious problems for you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. These problems may include:
- Premature birth,
- Low birth weight,
- Stillbirth, and many other problems
How Thyroid Increases the Risk of Miscarriage
Women with thyroidism, especially hypothyroidism have decreased fertility, and if they conceive, they have an increased risk of miscarriage. If your thyroid disorder is not treated during pregnancy, the following problems can take place, leading to a miscarriage:
- Higher luteal defects and ovulatory problems
- The increased need for thyroid hormones for foetal development is not met because of thyroid dysfunction.
- Hashimoto’s disease prevents immunological changes that are required in the body to support a healthy pregnancy.
If you have a history of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or you’re at risk for having a thyroid condition, talk to your doctor. Doctors can diagnose the condition based on symptoms and may prescribe to test the thyroid profile. Throughout your pregnancy, your thyroid levels will be monitored and medication will be frequently adjusted to prevent miscarriage due to thyroid, and other serious consequences.