One common problem I see with women in this situation is thyroid issues. Thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism, Hashimotos, hyperthyroidism or Grave’s disease can all make conceiving a baby and sustaining a pregnancy difficult. Thyroid conditions can also interfere with your menstrual cycle, so you may not ovulate regularly or at all, which can make getting pregnant difficult.
The frustrating thing is that a GP will generally only test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The reference range that GPs use to determine if your TSH is “normal” is quite wide, whereas from a naturopathic perspective the TSH range for a “healthy person” is more narrow.
TSH also fluctuates throughout the day – the peak of TSH is in the middle of the night, with lowest levels found around 4-8pm, so thyroid conditions may be left undiagnosed if blood tests are performed in the afternoon. It’s best to have TSH tested in the morning for an accurate representation.
Some symptoms of thyroid conditions may be:
- cold hands & feet
- unexplained weight gain/loss
- dry skin
- irregular heartbeat
- menstrual irregularities
- puffy skin
If you experience any of these symptoms and you’ve been having difficulties conceiving, it’s worth getting your TSH checked in the morning, as well as a full thyroid panel including free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies.
With a diagnosis and treatment (pharmaceutical and/or natural) you will likely be able to conceive successfully. The thyroid is an important gland which effects your hormones and fertility, so getting your thyroid into optimal health can have a huge impact on your ability to conceive.
If you would like to find out more about increasing your fertility naturally, you don’t want to miss the FREE Preconception Challenge starting 7th January 2019. It’s a fun online challenge designed to give you actionable steps to improve your chances of conceiving. Register below!