Can Thyroid Problems Cause Infertility?

fertility tips Apr 26, 2021

Can Thyroid Problems Cause Infertility?

The Mayo Clinic, states that low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with the release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation), which impairs fertility. In addition, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism — such as certain autoimmune or pituitary disorders — may impair fertility. [0] So why aren't more doctors overly concerned with improving your thyroid to help with fertility issues?

Is blog post is taken from Week 5 of The Fertility Formulaan easy, six-step online program that can help boost your fertility naturally & make your DREAMS of growing your family, come true.

I break down the importance of your thyroid health, what to watch out for, why running a full thyroid plan is important and steps needed to take to improve your thyroid health naturally to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy.

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The Link Between Thyroid Dysfunction And Fertility

You've learnt a lot about how the body is one & not to overlook normal or unnormal health issues. The good news is that all the work you've put in over the past 4 weeks is going to have a big fat positive impact on your thyroid health! You've discovered how to;

Eliminate Inflammatory Foods from Your Diet

Decrease Your Stress Levels

🦩 Focusing on the vagus nerve and calming the amygdala/limbic system. Vagus Nerve Oil from Osea is amazing! How to stimulate your vagus nerve to reduce stress and anxiety

Make Sleep a Priority

Reduce Caffeine Intake

Lower Your Toxicity [Physically & Emotionally]

Optimize Your Gut Health

There's little to add on top of the diet & lifestyles you've already made 🥳 

The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system, which plays many important roles in trying to conceive prosses. One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime, but those with undiagnosed and untreated thyroid disease are especially at risk for a number of serious conditions, including infertility. [1]

So let's talk about TSH. You most likely have had that checked. But did you know it's is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone!?!

The pituitary is a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain. Whenever a stress response is triggered, the hypothalamus at the base of the brain is activated and stimulates the pituitary gland, which in turn helps regulate the activity of other hormone-secreting glands. 

TSH is a hormone that the pituitary sends out to tell the thyroid how much or how little thyroid hormones to produce. TSH levels tell you what your pituitary is up to, but it doesn’t tell you how much thyroid hormone your body is producing.

 

When using Functional Fertility we assess how well your body is converting the main thyroid hormone (T4) to the active thyroid hormone (T3). Your T4 hormone must be converted into T3 in order for your body to use it.

Many factors hinder your body’s conversion of T4 to the active T3 form, but let's talk about the ones you have control over:

Poor Gut Health

In your gut, the conversion of T4 to T3 happens. YES! Your gut is magical as sh*t!

Poor gut health including inflammatory bowel disease, SIBO or leaky gut may reduce your body’s ability to convert T4 into the active T3 hormone.

Stress

In times of chronic stress, your body releases higher amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. At this time, your body is focused on the cortisol release, so it does not put much effort into converting T4 into T3. Instead, it redirects T4 to another hormone called reverseT3 [2].

Your body requires a delicate balance of reverse T3. Too much of this hormone as a result of chronic stress can slow metabolism and cause other detrimental effects in the body.

Impaired Liver Function

Most conversion of T4 to T3 occurs outside of the thyroid gland, with a large majority happening in the liver [5]. See how it matters to take care of your whole body! Impaired liver function, can have a negative effect on this conversion even if liver enzymes appear to be within normal limits.

 Low-Calorie Diets

Those amazing "diets" that are low in calories, could have damaged your thyroid function & may have reduced T3 concentrations by up to 50 percent [3].

When you severely restrict calories, your body will redirect your thyroid hormone (T4) into the reverse T3 version, which causes a drop in your metabolism [4]. This is a protective mechanism to prolong your survival in times of famine and food restriction.

INDICATIVE OF THYROID DYSFUNCTION:

If you don't have a confirmed thyroid issue, make sure you're watching out for symptoms - especially if you have improved your diet & lowering your stress levels! You might need a little support during the healing process: 

Overactive thyroid or "hyperthyroidism." This means your thyroid is producing too much of the hormone thyroxine. Watch out for:

Feeling nervous, anxious, or irritable

Mood swings

Feeling tired or weak

Heat sensitivity 

Sudden weight loss

Fast or irregular heartbeat/palpitations 

Going to the bathroom more frequently 

Shaky hands and fingers 

Sleep problems

Enlarged thyroid aka goitre 

Thinning skin

Fine and brittle hair 

Underactive thyroid or "hypothyroidism." This means your thyroid is producing too little of the hormones thyroxine. Watch out for:

Constipation

Depression

Greater sensitivity to cold

Slow heart rate

Swelling of the thyroid gland (goitre)

Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Dry hair and hair loss

Dry skin

Fatigue

Every cell in the body has receptors for the thyroid hormone. If anything goes awry during the production, conversion, and uptake of thyroid hormone, it can cause an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or an overactive one (hyperthyroidism). [5]

Both conditions can impact every major system in your body, including your reproductive system. [6]
 

If this is you, a more complete test done might be beneficial. There are a few different reasons why a typical thyroid panel isn't the best:

🦩Doesn't look at everything (as you stated)

🦩The "normal" ranges are made up of a very sick population

You'll want to do a full Thyroid Panel with:

TSH Optimal range: 0.5-2 IU/L

Free T4 Optimal range: 15-23 pmol/L

 Free T3 Optimal range: > 5-7 pmol/L

Reverse T3 Optimal range: 11-18 ng/dl

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) Optimal range: < 2 IU/m

Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) Optimal range: < 2 IU/m (thyroglobulin is a protein that transports thyroid hormone through the blood & used to make T3 & T4)

You can most likely get your doctor or fertility clinic to run a full Thyroid Panel for you. If you can't or would like to run on with Finding Fertility, you can find how to do so in the Functional Testing Your Doctors Might Not Even Think To Do section.

These labs can also be helpful to determine where other imbalances might be in the body:
CBC
CMP
Phosphorus
Vitamin D
Lipids
Iron panel
Saliva cortisol test

If you’re on medications, talk to your doctor about the dose you are currently on. The reason for this is because allopathic doctors often only test TSH to diagnose and treat thyroid disease. The problem with this is that, as I mentioned above, TSH is a pituitary hormone and not a thyroid hormone. You need to test thyroid hormones to know how much or how little the thyroid is actually producing.

A lot of women are on a dose of thyroid medications that is too high, and that’s what’s most likely causing their TSH to be too low. In most cases, you have to be your own advocate! Ask questions, read your labs, and do your research!

FYI!! I NEVER tell clients how much of a medication to take, or when to start or stop a medication. If I see elevated fT4 or fT3 and they are on thyroid medication, I encourage them to talk to their doctor about their current prescription.

NEXT STEPS:

🦩Take care of your liver:: The liver is one of the primary detox organs in the body and is responsible for over 500 functions in the body. It’s also the master transformation site that filters toxins from the blood to neutralize and eliminate them. These toxins can include: synthetic chemicals, excess hormones, heavy metals, sugar, processed foods, etc.

When the liver sees a toxin, it creates bile and puts the toxin in the bile and then sends the bile to the gallbladder. When you eat fats, this sends a signal to the gallbladder to release the bile into the intestinal tract to then be expelled via the bowels.

Liver Support: 

Do a castor oil pack over the liver 3-4 times a week. Castor oil packs are a gentle and effective way to decongest the liver and lymphatic system. [This is not recommended during menses]

Support Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification processes with Liver Nutrients by Seeking Health. 

Keep that bile moving!! Seeking Health Ox Bile: start with one and work your way up to 4 over a week, then take 4 for a week and re-evaluate [The die-off from this isn’t fun, so you would want to use charcoal, vitamin C and even colonics if needed.]

Do a liver/gallbladder Quick Flush [not fun, but might help.] Protocol in the download section.

🦩Dig Deeper into Your Gut Health:: Your gut plays an essential role in lowering inflammation and helping your body convert T4 to T3. You've already started to optimize your gut health, but if things seem off after a few months it's time to dig deeper with a stool 💩 test. This can tell us if there are potential gut irritants including infections, bugs, bacterial or yeast overgrowth or leaky gut. From there, we guide you in replacing missing elements (like digestive enzymes), repopulating the gut with friendly gut bacteria, and repairing the gut lining. You can check out the two stool test I recommend and how to upgrade to access Functional testing in Week 2: Functional Testing Your Doctors Might Not Even Think To Do 

🦩Making sure you are getting enough Zinc and Selenium. These two essential minerals required for the conversion of T4 to T3. In fact, one of the main enzymes that makes this conversion relies on selenium in order to function! Foods rich in these two essential minerals:

  • Selenium: brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, sardines, turkey, and beef liver
  • Zinc: oysters, beef, crab, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas

🦩Avoid skipping meals, intermittent fasting or super low-carb diets (such as keto). These can put extra strain on the adrenals and cause cortisol and/or blood sugar imbalance, which can then result in low TSH. You might feel good on these for a small period of time, but many times they can backfire down the road. It simply puts too much strain on an already stressed body and creates additional hormone imbalance.

EMPOWER YOURSELF:

5 Thyroid Patterns That Won’t Show up on Standard Lab Tests

Top 10 Thyroid Tests and How to Interpret Them

The Link Between Thyroid Dysfunction And Fertility

If you have any questions reach out in the Finding Fertility Community

Let's Do This Together

💚

Monica

 

🦩 Download your FREE PDF guide :: 3 Step Guide to Improving Your Chances of Getting & Staying Pregnant || https://www.findingfertility.co/free3stepguide

 

🌺 Get Steps Closer to Getting & Staying Pregnant with The Fertility Formula || https://www.findingfertility.co/FertilityFormula

 

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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.

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