Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
08/07/2014 at 08:47
Apologies; I've been away so didn't get the time to do this yesterday.
This week's topic is Underactive thyroid and TTC
10/07/2014 at 11:29
Yay this is my topic to talk about, shall I just tell my story?
So I had N two years ago, after a 12 hour labour but complications afterwards with haemorrhaging due to undelivered placenta. I struggled to breast feed, really really struggled, despite going to a fab bf clinic run by midwives. I made no milk, they put it down to being too anaemic after the birth to make any. I tried for four weeks to feed, express etc. It was exhausting and N hated it, could take up to 40 minutes to latch him, eventually we decided to FF (he then got diagnosed with a dairy allergy but that'a a whole new story!). We didn't know at the time but untreated hypothyroidism can inhibit milk production.
I never lost any baby weight after having N, and my periods didn't return despite not bf. I was also shattered and strangely months afterwards I began to lactate. I went to my GP nine months after N was born and they did blood tests which shows my prolactin levels were sky high. Prolactin is what you produce when you make breast milk. I wasn't bf so shouldn't have been making it. It's also why I wasn't having any periods, which meant we couldn't conceive.
I was referred to an endocrinologist and had an MRI scan which showed I have a prolactinoma which is a benign tiny tumour growing on my pituitary gland. I was started on medication to shrink it and lo and behold my periods returned exactly four weeks later! I then was informed by my endocrinologist that my thyroid levels were slightly high and they wanted to start me on thyroxine. It wasn't until I started this that I lost any baby weight, so over a year after I'd given birth, my energy levels also improved.
We decided to ttc last year, it's important when you are hypothyroid that your levels are right as there is a risk of miscarriage and developmental problems with the baby. The baby relies on you for the production of thyroid hormone in the first trimester. if you get diagnosed it's important your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone, produced by the pituitary) is low, below 2.5 if not 2. If it's high there is a possibility you can't conceive. we managed to conceive fairly quickly but sadly I mc at 5 weeks. Because of this my endo team increased my thyroxine as soon as I became pregnant again.
its important to get TSH, T4 and T3 levels checked if you are diagnosed. Some GPs won't check T3, but it's actually recommended by the thyroid society. T4 and T3 are the hormones used for your metabolism, TSH makes T4 and T4 converts to T3 which is the active hormone. So in some cases T4 doesn't convert adequately hence why they should also be checking T3 levels, as that requires different medication.
if you get pregnant it's important to have levels checked initially then every trimester. Generally medication is increased by at least 25-50% in pregnancy.
We were very pleased to find out that I was pregnant again two months after I mc! I increased my medication immediately and I see an endocrine consultant and obstetrician throughout pregnancy. I'm classed as high risk too. I can't take my prolactinoma medication in pregnancy as I need my prolactin levels to be high so I can (hopefully) bf. Then they'll monitor me afterwards.
So basically, if you are hypo or get diagnosed make sure the GP refers you to an endocrine team if you are pregnant! It's important that you are monitored during pregnancy to ensure baby is growing and your levels are ok. You have to stay on thyroxine for life and you get free prescriptions.
I'm due in four weeks!
10/07/2014 at 11:50
Thank you for this LLL - I have a little knowledge of thyroid issues through some friends and my mum but never realised the impact on TTC.
Looking forward to seeing your BA in a few weeks! x
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