Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck, just above your collarbone. Although the thyroid is small, it can have a big impact on your body.
Your thyroid produces hormones that play a role in nearly every system in your body – including your reproductive system. If your thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid) or underactive (hypothyroid), it produces too much or not enough of the thyroid hormones your body needs for optimal function.
As a result, when your thyroid isn’t working correctly, it can have a dramatic effect on your health and your quality of life.
At Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, our experienced care providers understand the wide-ranging influence a disordered thyroid can have on your health. With that in mind, we provide our patients with a full range of thyroid screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment.
Here, we share helpful information about some of the ways that your thyroid can affect your health.
Thyroid hormones influence your menstrual cycle and monthly bleeding. If your thyroid is under- or overactive, your periods may get longer, shorter, heavier, or lighter, or they may occur irregularly. You may even stop menstruating.
An out-of-balance thyroid can interfere with your ability to get pregnant. In addition to altering your menstrual cycle, it can impact ovulation. It could also cause menopause to occur earlier than normal.
Women with thyroid disorders have a greater risk of experiencing pregnancy complications, according to the March of Dimes. These include miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), problems with your placenta, preterm birth, and postpartum hemorrhage (severe bleeding after delivery).
Many other symptoms
Because your thyroid influences nearly every system in your body, it can be the cause of a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Appetite changes
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Feeling colder or warmer than others
- Hair loss
- Libido changes
- Mood changes (anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability)
- Muscle or joint pain
- Racing heartbeat
- Skin and nail changes
- Sleep problems
- Weight changes
Diagnosing and treating thyroid disorders
Left untreated, thyroid disorders can wreak havoc on a woman’s health. However, the good news is that most thyroid disorders are relatively straightforward to diagnose, and they can be successfully treated.
Not only is thyroid treatment generally considered safe in pregnant women, but it can also help protect you and your baby from potential complications.
For example, if your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism—the most common type of thyroid disorder in women) and doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, a daily thyroid replacement pill can bring you back in balance.
With treatment, most women with thyroid conditions can have normal periods, healthy pregnancies, symptom relief, and a good quality of life.
Have your thyroid evaluated
If you suspect a thyroid problem, or if you are having problems with menstruation, conception, pregnancy, or any other health issue, our providers would like to help. To schedule an evaluation, call our office at 513-794-1500, or request an appointment via our online portal today.