Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy refers to the situation when there is too much thyroid hormone produced while being pregnant. The most common symptoms of the condition are similar to the symptoms of pregnancy and so they are often overlooked, such as feeling warm, nervousness, nausea and weight loss, hard or fast heartbeat, and sleeping troubles.
In case of those women that cannot have pregnancy hyperthyroidism simply because they aren’t pregnant the condition could have an effect on the menstrual periods, so that they will become irregular, lighter or they might totally disappear.
sad truth regarding pregnancy hyperthyroidism is that for women with this condition it is more difficult to get pregnant and they are more likely to have miscarriages.
If a woman is confronted with infertility or with repeated miscarriages, this condition should be ruled out with the help of blood tests.
Controlling the condition in pregnant women is essential because therapy could reduce the chances of having a miscarriage or for the baby to have birth defects.
Luckily there are numerous effective kinds of therapies for hyperthyroidism in pregnancy. Since the condition is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, anti-thyroid medications are used as treatment.
In case they are taken in the right way, they can control the condition in a few weeks. In case of pregnancy hyperthyroidism the drug that is considered to be the safest is propylthiouracil.
Nonetheless this doesn’t mean that there are no dangers. The drug could also affect the thyroid glands of the baby and this is why the mother needs to be monitored closely through blood tests and examinations to administer the right dosage.
Regarding hyperthyroidism in pregnancy we also have to think about those situations when the women cannot take this drug because of allergies, for example. In this case there is only one thing to do: removing the thyroid glands through surgery. This should be done prior to pregnancy, but it can also be done during.
One of the most effective treatments for hyperthyroidism is radioactive iodine, but it is never used in case of pregnancy hyperthyroidism because it could affect the thyroid glands of the baby as well.
As we can see it is quite difficult to treat hyperthyroidism in pregnancy and this is why those women who are known to have a problem of this kind should permanently take care of it before getting pregnant. Taking anti-thyroid medication might not be the best choice, because the condition could return in case the medication is stopped.
As it has been mentioned before the best choice for pregnancy hyperthyroidism is to have the thyroid glands removed through surgery, because the radioactive iodine could get through the placenta and destroy the healthy thyroid cells of the baby.
In case of women who aren’t pregnant the only effect of radioactive iodine is that the thyroid gland gets less active, thus taking care of the problem, but this isn’t a choice in case of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy because of the effects that have been mentioned earlier.