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Natural Awakenings - Alachua, Citrus, Marion, Sumter Co & The Villages, FL

Thyroid as a Factor in Infertility and Miscarriage

Jul 31, 2016 01:12PM ● By Michael John Badanek

The emotional and physical traumas associated with fertility and miscarriages during the first and second trimester of pregnancy are in many cases avoidable. Documented case studies in the medical peer review literature note that simple testing procedures and protocols due to abnormal function of certain body organs or organ systems could easily prevent conditions of infertility and miscarriage from ever occurring.


Even before the era of sophisticated, precise thyroid testing, doctors were aware of the effects of thyroid imbalances on reproduction. At the turn of the 20th century, physicians administered thyroid hormone to women to improve their fertility and treat menopause. Today’s doctors recognize that adequate thyroid hormone levels are essential to help regulate the production of sex hormones estrogen and progesterone and the hormonal cycle responsible for ovulation. Both an excess of thyroid hormone or more commonly, a deficiency of the hormone alter the harmonious functioning of the reproductive system and sometimes prevent ovulation. Even if ovulation and conception occur, a thyroid imbalance can lead to a deficit in progesterone, which can render the uterus unsuitable for implantation of an embryo. This prevents a normal pregnancy.


Doctors estimate that one of every six couples of childbearing age has a problem with fertility. With modern infertility protocols, which are frequently expensive and time-consuming, approximately two-thirds of all couples can be treated and successfully conceive. An inability to conceive can generate a profound feeling of failure, which can lead to a state that psychologist Erik Erikson described as “stagnation and personal impoverishment.”


Quite frequently, women being treated for a thyroid imbalance enter infertility programs with no idea that their thyroid condition could be preventing conception and a normal pregnancy. Even more alarming, a significant number of reproductive endocrinologists and gynecologists that treat infertile couples are unaware that a minimal thyroid imbalance can compound or even cause infertility. Nor do many of these doctors realize the importance of detecting sublet thyroid abnormalities. One study showed that approximately 25 percent of women referred to one infertility clinic had low-grade hypothyroidism.


When a couple seeks help for infertility, a female-related issue is identified 45 percent of the time. The most common identifiable female-related issues are ovarian dysfunction, tubal diseases and endometriosis. One study showed that even when the woman has an identifiable cause of infertility, she is more likely to have an autoimmune thyroid condition and thyroid dysfunction than a woman not having an infertility issue. Antithyroid antibodies were elevated in 18 percent of infertile women, compared to 8 percent for healthy women. The female issue that is more frequently associated with autoimmune thyroid disease and thyroid imbalance is endometriosis. These thyroid disease can be an additional contributing reason for infertility, even if there are other issues that could explain the infertility problem.


Those experiencing problems with fertility should discuss the possibility of a thyroid imbalance with a doctor before spending two years engaging in an infertility protocol. Although infertility usually affects both partners, the person suffering from infertility usually has greater feelings of guilt, inadequacy, failure and low self-esteem.


Contact Dr. Michael Badanek, DC, in Ocala, at 352-622-1151 or visit or

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