Thyroid and Fertility Part I
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
When a FetilityCare Practitioner or a NaPro Physician evaluates a chart there are many clues about what may be going on beneath the surface. One of the things that can be discovered through observations in the cycle is irregularities in hormones. And not just the hormones most commonly associated with fertility, there can be irregularities in other hormones that impact fertility, and the source of some of those hormones is the thyroid gland.
The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located on the trachea below the Adams apple. Its job is to produce thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. Many doctors look at just the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) when evaluating the thyroid. TSH comes from the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid to make T4 and T3. The T4 needs to be converted to T3 for your body to function. T4 and T3 are essential to having energy, a good uterine lining, egg quality, ability to carry a pregnancy and, don’t feel left out men, it also plays a big role in sperm production.
When a thyroid is overactive or underactive, the reproductive system is unable to work properly to conceive a baby. This is why it is so critical that someone would have a full thyroid evaluation if they have signs of a problem. Autoimmune thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s and Grave's can make treating the thyroid and infertility more complicated. This is due to the fact that the body is attacking itself, including the organs for fertility. Thyroid issues can show up at any age. When looking at a chart of someone with thyroid issues, they may be experiencing tail end brown bleeding, limited mucus cycles, and a short post peak phase. In my experience when a client receives a complete thyroid work up from a NaPro doctor they are treated more quickly and find the impact on their fertility sooner. They will often test the TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and sometimes autoimmune markers for hypo or hyperthyroidism.
Beyond what I have seen in charts, client experience, or read about, I have personal experience with thyroid problems. Last winter I was having severe cold sensitivity, I thought I had to be running a temperature because my whole family was wearing T shirts and I was in a long sleeve shirt and two hoodies shivering. My hair felt dry, my chart was not normal. Seemingly out of nowhere, I had tail end brown bleeding, longer post peaks, limited mucus and I had two miscarriages. One day I broke down and asked one of the Groesbeck FertilityCare Center Practitioners to look at my chart. A month later and after many tests they found that I do indeed have hypothyroidism and possibly Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid. I am so thankful and grateful for Creighton and the wonderful staff at our center. I am still trying to understand what this all means for my my future self and family, but each day I am learning something new to help me on this journey. Stay tuned for part 2 thyroid and Fertility.