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Thyroid, infertility and miscarriage

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies,

Since my latest thyroid diagnosis I got this book "Living Well With Hypothyroidism: what your doctor doesn't tell you that you need to know" by Mary Shomon. It's made me think of all of you frustrated ttc'ers and some of you that have had miscarriages. Now I know there can be LOTS of reasons for infertility and miscarriage and I by no means want to say I've found THE cause, but fwiw some of you might find the info interesting.

She specifically recommends "If you or someone you know is having difficulty getting pregnat, or is suffering recurrent miscarriage, thyroid antibodies should be tested. While the patient-oriented literature overlooks this entirely, some of the more pioneering medical researchers and fertility specialists understand that the presence of antithyroid antibodies - even in the absence of an elevated TSH or symptoms of hypothyroidism - can be a factor in infertility or early miscarriage. A variety of immunological adjustments need to take place in a pregnant woman, and the existence of underlying autoimmune thyroid problems may set in motion a mechanism that results in a greater incidence of intertility, lower success rates with invitro fertilization or more frequent miscarriage."

To me the weird thing is how you can be asymptomatic (or THINK your asymptomatic) and still have the condition. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (so exotic!) not because I was complaining of symptoms, but because my doc found I had an enlarged thyroid. Now I'm on synthroid and I can't believe what a huge difference it has made. Before I would be tired, dragging, groggy in the morning, sometimes foggy - but I always blamed it on not getting enough sleep, going to bed too late, eating the wrong food, etc. A lot of that has changed on the meds and it hasn't even been a week.

She also has a web site:http://thyroid.about.com and it's a wonderful resource.

Hopefully this will help someone on their baby journey

Good luck and much

Lisa G
post #2 of 19
I have to agree that thyroid has a lot to do with infertility.

I am actually going to the heath food store today to get some vitamins for thyroid dysfunction.

That is great that you are feeling better already

I just read yesterday that the blood test for testing the thyroid is not very accurate. Most of the time it comes back - but there is actually dysfunction. I believe that that is my problem I have been tested 3x times already and 2 came back - and Friday I will know how the 3 came out.I just want answers so I can get preggo damit!!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
That's a very good point about blood levels not being the end all be all for a diagnosis. It's a RANGE not the end all be all and some people feel better at different ends of the range. Apparently for those that really feel good and "normal" their TSH levels are closer to 1-2 where as on the lab test "normal is .5-5. Levels above a 2 have been implicated in problems with infertility and miscarriage so seems like the range is a bit off.

Good luck with your test results - I'd highly recommend this book to perhaps present your doc with more info.

I hope your baby dreams come true soon

post #4 of 19
Thank you for posting this. I actually just had my dr test me for thyroid yesterday, but like mentioned, I'm anticipating that nothing will show up. I have strong suspicions that I have a problem though. I've been through 8 years of unexplained infertility, and it's been through reading Marilyn Shannon's book "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" that I've been exposed to great info on hypothyroidism and infertility. I have a number of symptoms: low basal body temps, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, fatigue and energy loss, infertility, and Shannon even mentions having extended days of "fertile" cervical mucus, which also describes me. I had attributed my tiredness to lack of sleep (we have a 10-month-old baby through adoption), but I'm actually getting a pretty decent night's rest now. I'm eating healthier than ever before in my life, and taking a pretty potent multi-vitamin, but I'm still always dragging. I will check out that link when I have time.
post #5 of 19
I feel proof positive that being hypothyroidic can lead to problems TTC. My husband and I tried for a few months and nothing. In a routine physical with bloodwork, my doctor noticed my thyroid level was REALLY low. I had been complaining to him that I was VERY tired, and despite eating like a bird, was gaining a TON of weight. It took about three months of testing and changing my synthroid doses before we arrived at a good amount of medicine for me. That next month I got pregnant.
Fast forward almost 3 years....my husband and I decide ok, let's try again....three months go by..nothing. I suggest to my doc, hey, let's test my thyroid again and make sure I'm still at a good level....he says he didn't think that could be the problem...well what do you know! Yes, you guessed it....my medicine needed to be adjusted by about half. The following month we conceived.....
The moral of my story is...TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN HEALTH!!!!Don't believe everything everyone tells you...listen to your gut.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Laurel, check out the website when you get a chance and keep hounding your doc if your blood levels are "normal" (is anyone normal out there : ). Also, I'd encourage you to ask for a copy of your lab results so you can see where your levels are - they may be borderline and still fall within normal range.

Dallaschildren - wow, what great success stories! This book also mentions how pregnancy and postpartum levels may need tweaking. Good for you for paying attention to your body

Here's to being educated, take-charge, healthy women

Lisa G
post #7 of 19

just adding

another success story. i have a 13yr old dd from first marriage.
I was diagnosed with Graves disease in 1995. i had a huge goiter, was severly hyperthyroid -migraines, lack of sleep, heart palpitations...was pretty horrible. I opted for RAI treatment which basically nukes the goiter and the thyroid (it was that or surgery and as a single mama with a 5 year old thats the route i chose).

i met my dh that summer, we were together 3 years before getting married in 98. In that three years i worked very closely with an endocrinologist to try to get my thyroid medication to the right dose so i'd feel well. In 99 we started ttc and found that for months it didn't happen cuz i was holding steady at like 4.5-5. Finally we got my meds right and i was testing at 2-3. I conceived in december 99 and gave birth to my beautiful girl in august 2000.

We started ttc again in february 02 - not really trying, just went off birth control. In august, zoey turned 2 and i started using opk's but also went in and asked for a thyroid level to be drawn. i came back at almost 6 (?!). we readjusted my medication , i tested in sept/oct at around 3 and i conceived in november
Still have to watch that thyroid carefully tho. First trimester i was testing 6.5 and just two weeks ago (after fighting and then giving in and having to take the 3 hour gtt to PROVE i wasn't insulin resistant) they ran me again and i was almost to 9 !!?!?!
so hormones can change things...its best to have the blood draws regularly (especially when you DO conceive) cuz you can fluctuate badly. i had to specifically REQUEST them to do a thyroid level on me at the same time as the Gtt cuz i knew when i gained 8lbs in 2 weeks that my thyroid was way off.

anyway. you can conceive and carry with hypothyroidism whether a mild case, severe or like me when you've had your thyroid completely removed or radiated to battle hyPER thyroidism.

good luck! and the about.com site is terrific.
post #8 of 19
Originally posted by Laurel
...I have a number of symptoms: low basal body temps, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, fatigue and energy loss, infertility, and Shannon even mentions having extended days of "fertile" cervical mucus, which also describes me...
You're the first person I've ever "met" who has the extended "fertile cervical mucus" days but is also infertile. I was starting to think I was the only one. As the years have gone on, my cycles have become further and futher apart but my "fertile cervial mucus" days can go on for a week. It makes no sence. Does the book your reading tell you what do to about this cluster of symptoms? Over the past ten years I've been to countless MDs, Midwives, Naturopaths, Homeopaths, Herbalists, etc. and tried to many medications, herbs, homeopathic rememdies, food, etc. to list...all with no measurable difference in these symptoms.

My son is 11 years old and I had three miscarriages before having him. We've been TTC, with varing degrees of seriousness, for the past ten years but no luck at all. Other issues in our lives have ruled out adoption thus far.

I sometimes lurk here but rarely post...I felt I had to write when I read your story. It makes me feel slightly less crazy to know that I am not the only woman in the world with these symptoms. Oh, and it doesn't help my sanity that every single test I've ever had for my thyroid comes up "normal". Thank you for sharing your story, it helped me.
post #9 of 19
Birdmom, the book I'm reading is "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" by Marily Shannon. I just read another thread recently where several people mentioned it, and it's really wonderful. I think anyone who's been ttc for awhile should read it. She links extended ewcm to low thyroid function, PCOS, and to having a sensitivity to night lighting. One other thing I noticed is that last month, when I had profuse mucus for about a week, I was taking a potent prenatal vitamin. This month, I cut my vitamin dosage in half, and my mucus has been scant. Since I just ovulated, I can't yet tell if ewcm will be prolonged. But I read somewhere that vitamins can have an impact on mucus too. I'll have to test out a few more cycles to know for sure.

She doesn't give advice specifically for the mucus, but the assumption is that dealing with the underlying problem, whether thyroid or whatever, would solve the mucus problem.

I have not ttc'd for about four years, but we are getting ready to. I've done a couple of months off and on the last little while, but I'm not getting too emotionally involved quite yet. I have a practicioner in mind whom I'm certain can help us. He's a world-reknowned naturpath, herbalist, and iridologist from New Zealand who is specializing in infertility treatment. You can check out his website at www.infertilitysolutionsinternational.com

I know him and his wife from another email list, and he is doing amazing things. He has a 75% success rate over the last four years, of not only couples conceiving, but of carrying the baby to term. His success rate for the last year or two was 89%, which is just incredible. Dh and I just need to save up the $6000 to work with him. He just emailed me all the detailed info about his program, and I have real confidence that I can conceive.

I just went to the dr last week, and my thyroid test also turned up "normal" but I'm not convinced. Unfortunately, the results were given in a voicemail message, so I couldn't ask the nurse to give me the actual numbers, but I'll be calling them to get the report.

(Edited to fix link.)
post #10 of 19
I just discovered a NFP Dr. and we went for a consultation to talk to him on Friday. He advises against Vitamin C before ovulation because it does dry up cervical mucus.

That includes taking a multi vitamin It is fine to take after ovulation but not before.

Thought that info might help.

Just an after thought but I got the results of my thyroid test on Friday and I most certainly do not have a hypothyroid problem. It was 1.5 I was so hoping that my test came back + . I guess we just have to keep on testing other stuff that could be causing my infertility.

I feel pretty confident with this Dr. and I believe I will at most be pregnant by September. God willing
post #11 of 19
Originally posted by Laurel
Laurel, Thank you for sharing all that information. I just wanted to let you know that the email address you gave is incorrect. It's a ".com" address, not ".org" Thank you again.
post #12 of 19
Oops! I always get .coms and .orgs mixed up. I'll go back and edit my post.
post #13 of 19

you MUST read this!

Ladies, you must read this!! If you want to do something about your problems go to www.energy.sk/usa

GYNEXThe Energy bio-information preparations affect a human body in several levels at the same time. While the active substances act directly on organs and processes in our body, the information factors obliterate a cause of illness in the information field through bio-resonance.
post #14 of 19
when I was approaching 13 mos ttc, my *MD* suggested a thyroid test, actually, along with diab! The a1c came back at 7.7, then next week. I was already pg, though. I m/ced the next week. She never men the results of the thyroid. I need to follow up on that.
post #15 of 19
i'm currently ttc #2. I have hypo: / thyroidism. my untreated level was 35... my treated level (1mg levoxil) was 2.something. I know I know I should keep better track... well anyways... i can't seem to concieve number 2... well maybe keep number 2 in me. I've had pos pg test 3 times and then a week /days later it's negative again. I don't think i'm so special to have so many "false positives" I also lost a baby before I conceived #1. Should I request another leveling test done. The last one was about 6 mo ago.


I should add we've been actively trying for 2 mo...like bd every day but not actively trying for about 6 mo (bd about 2 x per week)... I know it doesn't sound long but angel baby one was conceived first try... dd was conceived first try and the first m/c after dd was one try. maybe i'm expecting to much?
post #16 of 19
I just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread! I just did a search on hypothyroidism and found it.

I recently was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism...no symptoms, but a slightly enlarged thyroid on physical exam. So I listend to the Nurse Practitioner and she sent off the labs..and guess what-hypothyroid. We discussed all of the different options...and I kept feeling like "why should I treat it if I don't really have any symptoms" But, I have been thinking about it for five days and reading about different individual experiences...and this is what I thought.

In 1999 I underwent an infertility workup. I came back slightly hypothyroid (7.89 TSH). My OB completely blew it off and thought he knew what he was talking about. It took me three years and one miscarriage to get pregnant. I spent 5 months on bedrest in Pre term labor with this pregnancy. So fast forward 20 months after the pregnancy and I get this diagnosis...puts everything in perspective with a little reading. When I was in pre-term labor why didn't my OB do labwork for thyroid??? When I wasn't getting pregnant why didn't my TSH numbers mean anything to the OB (2 diff OB's BTW)

I do have fatigue-but I thought-OK...I am a Mom. I also have dry skin and hair-but I live in the high desert.

I am so sick of self service health care. And I am a Nurse!

Thanks for the info and for posting it in the infetility area-very thoughtful of you, Mama.
post #17 of 19
I was hypothyroid and have been on the medication for a few years now. My TSH was originally 139.9 but is now consistantly between 1 and 2 like it should be. It didn't take long to correct after starting the synthroid. At first I thought I'd be able to get pregant maybe if my thyroid was corrected and in that proper range for pregnancy, but no luck. Oh well, we're adopting now so I only have 6 more months to go before I have a baby - yippee!
post #18 of 19
I was diagnosed hypothyroid ages ago. I've got Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is an auto-immune reaction.

I'm thoroughly impressed with with all the people who know their levels. I haven't a clue beyond knowing that they are "normal" borderline or needs improving.

I've had the good luck to have Drs who take symptoms as well as levels into account. I was very symptomatic but within normal when first diagnosed.

Since then it always seems like a balancing act. My dosages seem to need adjusting almost every time I get tested. For awhile some holistic things I was doing were helping with my health and as my Dr adjusted my dosages downward in response to tests, My TSH went the wrong direction. Then I seem to stabilize for a couple of tests, but now I'm expecting to need adjusting again.

I chart my BBT, and the past two months I've had some low readings, but I don't know if one has anything to do with the other. Does anybody else have hypothyroid and chart?
post #19 of 19
Does Hyper-thyroid make you have problems ttc also? In sept. my endo said I have postpartum hyperthyroid and it should go away. I'm going friday for another test, but we are wanting to TTC now and I was wondering if it would make ttc more difficult or mc more likely?
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