Thyroid malfunction is a common finding in many women with fertility issues, with research showing that it may be a contributing factor in up to 25% of infertility cases.
This is not surprising when you consider that the thyroid gland, like the ovaries, forms part of the endocrine system and the complex interplay between hormones often means that a problem with one gland may lead to dysfunction within another.
A diagnosis with Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) means that your thyroid is not making enough thyroxine hormone and medication, such as Eltroxin may be recommended to correct this.
While this treatment is very useful in the short-term or for those about to embark on an IVF cycle, it does not address the root cause of the thyroid malfunction.
A common cause of underactive thyroid function is known as hashimotos thyroiditis, which refers to inflammation of the thyroid gland that is caused by thyroid anti-bodies. You should request thyroid anti-body screening as part of any thyroid panel (I.e. Thyroglobulin and Thyroperoxidase anti-bodies). This would be especially recommended if you already have a pre-existing auto-immune condition, such as coeliac disease, crohns disease, lupus etc.
Treatment is focused on identifiying the underlying cause of the immune imbalance such as stress, poor dietary choices, imbalance within another endocrine organ (e.g. Adrenals) or nutrient deficiency.
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