Thyroid Disorders in Pregnancy
Hypothyroidism in pregnancy may be caused by:
- An immune system problem known as Hashimoto disease, the most common cause
- Not enough treatment for pre-existing hypothyroidism
- Over treating hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy may be caused by:
- Overactivity of the thyroid gland known as Graves disease, the most common cause
- Very high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- A personal or family history of a thyroid problem
- Having been treated for a thyroid problem
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Hyperemesis gravidarum , a severe form of morning sickness
- A personal or family history of problems with the immune system
Hypothyroidism problems are:
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Slow heartbeat
- Memory problems
Hyperthyroidism problems are:
- Losing weight without trying
- Problems sleeping
- Bulging eyes
- Fast or abnormal heart rhythm
Medicine will be given to replace the hormone. Thyroid levels will be checked often and the dose may need to be changed.
Mild hyperthyroidism will be watched closely. Some people may need to take medicine. Your medicine needs may change during pregnancy. Your doctor will check your thyroid hormone levels every 6 to 8 weeks during pregnancy and 4 weeks after a change in dose.
If medicine does not work, the thyroid gland may need to be removed. Radioiodine is used to destroy the thyroid gland. It is rarely done during pregnancy because of the risk to the fetus.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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