When your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be upset. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. These hormones produced by the thyroid gland influence the control of vital functions, such as body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism.
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroxine (T4)
Women are at a high risk for hypothyroidism. Low levels of thyroid hormone impairs a woman’s fertility because the condition interferes with her ovulation.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
Autoimmune disease. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues. Sometimes this process involves your thyroid gland.
Scientists aren’t sure why this happens, but it’s likely a combination of factors, such as your genes and an environmental trigger. However it happens, these antibodies affect the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones.
Over-response to hyperthyroidism treatment. People who produce too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) are often treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications. The goal of these treatments is to get thyroid function back to normal. But sometimes, correcting hyperthyroidism can end up lowering thyroid hormone production too much, resulting in permanent hypothyroidism.
Thyroid surgery. Removing all or a large portion of your thyroid gland can diminish or halt hormone production. In that case, you’ll need to take thyroid hormone for life.
Radiation therapy. Radiation used to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect your thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism.
Medications. A number of medications can contribute to hypothyroidism. One such medication is lithium, which is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders. If you’re taking medication, ask your doctor about its effect on your thyroid gland.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Feelings of nervousness and anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased sweating and heat intolerance
- Interference with the release of an egg from the ovary – resulting in infertility
Hypothyroidism Therapy Expertise
It is important to work with a fertility specialist who has the clinical experience to design a therapeutic treatment plan meeting your personal needs. Dr. Hugh Melnick pays close attention to the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism – a common condition among women suffering from infertility.
Read the Doctor’s contribution to the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology about subclinical hypothyroidism and its effect on a woman’s fertility.
Your initial consultation to find out if you are a candidate for Subclinical Hypothyroidism Therapy can be conducted with the Doctor via telephone, Skype or FaceTime.
Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Hugh Melnick at Advanced Fertility Services by calling 212.369.8700 – or – clicking the icon below.