How Hypothyroidism Can Complicate Pregnancy

Hypothyroidism Can Reduce Your Chances of Becoming Pregnant

If hypothyroidism isn't diagnosed and treated properly during pregnancy, it could lead to serious complications, including hypertension in the mother, miscarriage, low birth weight and even stillbirth.

Some women may already have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism before they become pregnant. But other women may develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy because they produce antibodies to their own thyroid glands.

Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of changes in a woman's menstrual periods: irregularity, heavy periods, or loss of periods. When hypothyroidism is severe, it can reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant and create infertility.

Checking thyroid gland function with a simple easy to use at home test kit is an important part of evaluating a woman who has trouble becoming pregnant. If detected, an under active thyroid gland can be easily treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If thyroid tests are normal, however, treating an infertile woman with thyroid hormones will not help at all, and may cause other problems.

Because some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as tiredness and weight gain are already quite common in pregnant women, it is often overlooked and not considered as a possible cause of these symptoms.  Blood spot testing, particularly measuring the TSH level, can determine whether a pregnant woman's problems are due to hypothyroidism or not.

Other common symptoms associated with pregnancy and hypothyroidism are headaches, anxiety, nervousness and high blood pressure.

According to Dr. Richard Shames, there are 5 Top Mineral Supplements for Thyroid Support.

  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E


Iodine is the first mineral, which - as described in the book "Feeling  Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled"?  is very much a double-edged sword for thyroid sufferers.  You absolutely need it, but not too much of it.

Selenium and zinc are next. Selenium is crucial in both the production of T-4 thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in the thyroid gland, as well as in the conversion of T-4 to T-3 thyroid hormone, the active form (thyronine). Zinc is needed both before and after these production and conversion processes.

Zinc is necessary for the TRH hypothalamus hormone to stimulate the pituitary gland, which signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone. In addition to these minerals, vitamin D is necessary for thyroid hormone production in the pituitary gland, and possibly in the early stages of T-3 (thyronine) binding to its receptor.

Vitamin E is part of the necessary supporting apparatus that enables the deiodinase enzyme to convert T-4 (inactive thyroid hormone) into T-3 (the active type).


Optimal thyroid nutrients can make an incredible difference, whether you are taking natural and/or synthetic medicines for your condition. For those who have special complex individualized needs, nutritional thyroid coaching sessions with Dr. Richard Shames are available to help speed your recovery. through a coaching session.  More information available on his website.

Women with previously treated hypothyroidism should be aware that their dose of medication may have to be increased during pregnancy and should be checked by the doctor throughout to monitor dosages. Thyroid function tests should continue to be reviewed every 2-3 months throughout the pregnancy.

After delivery, the thyroxine dose should be returned to the pre-pregnancy dose and thyroid function tests reviewed two months later.

The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Dr’s Richard & Karilee Shames, M.D. Our mission is to educate, support and empower people whose hormone health has been compromised.

James Norman MD, FACS, FACE

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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.