Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system attacks your thyroid. The inflammation caused by Hashimoto's disease can lead to an underactive thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the activity of your thyroid gland is abnormally low
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the front of your neck. It is in charge of regulating essential hormones throughout your body. Hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's can lead to multiple symptoms that can interfere with your everyday life, such as depression, impaired memory, weight gain or weight loss, and an increased sensitivity to the cold.
Did you also know Hashimoto's disease may also affect your reproductive system?
According to the American Thyroid Association, 10 to 20 percent of all pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy are positive for Hashimoto's antibodies.
A study published in the British Medical Journal reviewed 31 cases that included 12,126 women that had a thyroid antibodies and a miscarriage. Researchers found thyroid antibodies increased the risk of miscarriage by a scary 290 percent.
If you are pregnant and experiencing any symptoms of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism, it's essential that you stay connected with your primary doctor or your OB/GYN.
According to the American Thyroid Association, women who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease or hypothyroidism need to be closely monitored. Thyroid-stimulating hormone testing should be conducted every four weeks during the first half of your pregnancy and then again at least once between 26 and 32 weeks.
What else do you need to know about Hashimoto's disease, your thyroid and the effects on your fertility?
Dr. John Couvaras, MD, discusses what Hashimoto's disease is and how it affects your fertility.