Screening For Thyroid Disease In Women May Relieve Fertility Problems


Screening for thyroid disease in women could aid in resolving fertility problems and recurrent early pregnancy loss, according to a new study published in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

“Abnormalities in thyroid function can have an adverse effect on reproductive health and result in reduced rates of conception, increased miscarriage risk and adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes,” Amanda Jefferys of the Bristol Center for Reproductive Medicine in the United Kingdom said. “However, with appropriate screening and prompt management, these risks can be significantly reduced.”

Jefferys and her colleagues initially conducted a review on thyroid disorders and reproductive health, in addition to gathering information regarding improved reproductive outcomes in connection to thyroid function. They found that decreased conception rates, increased early pregnancy loss and adverse pregnancy outcomes with abnormalities were connected to poor thyroid functioning - that is, with both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

The team also found that women with hyperthyroidism are almost twice as likely to have fertility problems than those without the condition (2.3 percent of women instead of 1.5 percent). Women with hyperthyroidism are more likely to deliver early, experience stillbirth and have preeclampsia.

During the study, researchers also linked thyroid disease with delayed sexual maturity in childhood and adolescence, as well as menstrual problems or a lack of ovulation in adults.

“Thyroid disease can have significant effects on reproduction from conception to birth; however, with appropriate screening, a high index of suspicion and prompt management, risks can be significantly reduced if not ameliorated,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers noted that further research needs to be performed before confirming a treatment that would benefit women who want to conceive with the condition. However, the researchers did recommend that clinicians consider screening women with fertility problems for the disease.

Source: Endocrinology Advisor / Photo Credit: Flickr


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