Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
I’m 20 weeks pregnant lady. Diagnosed with hypothyroid. How does hypothyroid affect my pregnancy
Hi, thank you for your question. When you become pregnant, your body needs more thyroid hormone to support both your baby and your metabolic needs. Healthy thyroid glands will be able to meet this requirement.
However, if you have hypothyroidism, you may find that your symptoms worsen after becoming pregnant. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are trouble tolerating the cold, constipation, fatigue, and problems with concentration and memory. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause complications during pregnancy, even if it is a mild one.
Pregnancy complications that may happen include anemia (lack of red blood cell), low birthweight, miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia (severe high blood pressure during pregnancy) and congestive heart failure. Thyroid hormones are also very important for proper development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. In the first trimester, your baby relies on your supply of thyroid hormone. If hypothyroidism is not treated appropriately, especially in your first trimester, your baby may develop low IQ and problems with normal development.
Treatment of hypothyroidism during pregnancy is the same as that when you are not pregnant. It involves replacing your thyroid hormones with medications. You will most likely be prescribed with levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone. It is safe to be taken during pregnancy.
If you have hypothyroidism before becoming pregnant, you may need to adjust your medication dosage. After the initial dose adjustment, you will need a blood test to check if your thyroid hormones have stabilised. The doctor will recheck your thyroid hormone levels every few weeks depending on your condition. Take your medication as advised because it will reduce your risk of developing complications during your pregnancy such as those mentioned above.
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