Is your thyroid making you infertile?

An often overlooked cause of infertility can be thyroid issues. The thyroid gland is responsible for secreting thyroid hormone, which is a master regulator of metabolism.

Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroid) can significantly affect a number of metabolic processes, including sex steroid hormone synthesis.

Hyperthyroid symptoms include weight loss, trouble sleeping, mood swings, feeling nervous and irritable, rapid and irregular heartbeat, and feeling hot.

Hypothyroid symptoms are often the opposite and include trouble losing weight, easy weight gain, feeling sluggish and depressed, constipation, and feeling cold.

A common symptom of both hyper and hypothyroidism is irregular menstrual cycles.

The causes of either of these thyroid abnormalities can result from inadequate dietary iodine, including too much or too little iodine.  Genetic and lifestyle factors may also affect thyroid function.

You doctor can test thyroid function by measuring serum thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone.

If you think you have any of these symptoms, let your doctor know.

Women with thyroid issues may have more trouble conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy, but proper monitoring by a physician can help overcome these problems.