Thyroid And Pregnancy

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Thyroid And Pregnancy
Thyroid And Pregnancy
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Thyroid and pregnancy

Since an underactive thyroid can cause conception disorders and hypothyroidism can lead to impaired intellectual and physical development of the fetus, the woman should have the thyroid examined at the beginning of the pregnancy. Normal thyroid function with a TSH value between 0.5 and 2.5 µU / ml should be present before and during pregnancy. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the mother has an increased need for iodine.


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  • Ensure iodine intake
  • Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism in pregnancy
  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland after childbirth

Ensure iodine intake

Usually, after the eleventh week of pregnancy, the child's thyroid is already able to absorb iodine, which passes through the placenta from the maternal into the child's bloodstream, and to produce thyroid hormones itself. A sufficient iodine intake and a normal metabolic state of the mother are therefore essential for the normal physical and mental development of the unborn child.

Note Examinations and therapy with radioactive substances are prohibited during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, there are exceptions: examinations with certain radioactive substances (for example technetium-99m) are carried out under particularly strict indications. Drug therapy with thyroid hormones, iodine or anti-thyroid drugs is permitted.

Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy

The pregnancy hormone beta-HCG, which can be detected in high concentrations in the blood during early pregnancy, has a stimulating effect on the thyroid cells. This can lead to an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) in early pregnancy. In most cases, however, this is mild and resolves on its own without drug therapy. In the case of symptoms such as palpitations or tremors, the administration of a beta blocker in low doses may be necessary.

Rarely, during pregnancy, there is also hyperfunction in the context of Graves' disease. In this case, treatment with an anti-thyroid drug (which inhibits the thyroid function) is required. Since medication, unlike maternal thyroid hormones, is transferred from the mother to the unborn child, the lowest possible dosage is chosen. Close monitoring throughout the pregnancy is essential.

Hypothyroidism in pregnancy

An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) that already existed before pregnancy or was diagnosed during pregnancy must be optimally compensated for by hormone replacement therapy, as otherwise physical and mental development disorders of the unborn child can occur. Close medical checks are also required here.

Inflammation of the thyroid gland after childbirth

Pregnancy can lead to antibody-related inflammation of the thyroid gland (post-partum thyroiditis) in the mother, which typically occurs in the first six months after giving birth. At the beginning, the destruction of thyroid cells and the release of the stored hormones into the blood can lead to an overactive function (hyperthyroidism). The disease then either heals completely or turns into a (usually permanent) underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

The mostly only temporary overfunction does not require treatment, in the case of underactive hormone replacement therapy is necessary.

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