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Thyroid + Infertility {What Is The Connection? Root Cause Approach}

Thyroid, Infertility, Hypothyroid, Hashimoto's, Functional Medicine

Thyroid + Infertility {What Is The Connection? Root Cause Approach}

The thyroid and infertility connection is R E A L! I know you’re thinking “I just want a baby! What the heck is happenin’ to my body?”

When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, this can really put a damper on your fertility. The thyroid hormone is the ultimate master in regulating different cells and functions. There are a few things that can happen to your fertility if you are struggling with a low functioning thyroid…

  • You won’t be able to ovulate
  • Higher prolactin levels
  • Shorter luteal phase in your cycle

No Ovulation + Short Luteal Phase in Hypothyroid

Let’s keep this really simple...no ovulation = no egg released. No egg = no baby. Ovulation is KEY to getting pregnant and unfortunately, thyroid dysfunction can stall ovulation. Thyroid hormone is needed for healthy FSH and LH levels. These hormones tells the ovaries that an egg needs to be matured to get ready for possible pregnancy and they also help release the egg when it’s ready. When women aren’t ovulating, they also aren’t making any progesterone, so now they can start falling into a cycle of estrogen dominance. This becomes a big picture hormonal imbalance.

Another downfall of a low functioning thyroid is that it can shorten the luteal phase of your cycle. The luteal phase is the 2nd phase of your cycle starting from ovulation to the beginning of your bleeding. When women have a shorter luteal phase, the uterine lining and implantation of an egg is hindered, along with the lower levels of progesterone needed to help with implantation.

High Prolactin Levels

Low functioning thyroid can also increase prolactin levels, aka hyperprolactinemia because the TRH (thyroid releasing hormone) demand. Higher TRH = more prolactin secretion. Higher prolactin levels can impair the GnRH (gonadotrophin-releasing hormone) and cause ovary dysfunction. The ovaries will not ovulate because high prolactin inhibits the secretion of FSH, as well.

Hormone balance is truly a dance + you can begin to see how when one hormone is out of balance, it’s a domino effect of what will happen next!

Thyroid Labs – Can Subclinical Hypothyroidism Impact Infertility?

If you are struggling with infertility, it’s best to get a FULL THYROID panel. A full thyroid panel can consist of the following…

  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Antibodies

Do NOT just settle for TSH as an indicator of how well your thyroid is functioning. TSH is only the communication from your pituitary to your thyroid to make thyroid hormone – it’s not a marker that shows actual thyroid levels. Some doctors will just test TSH and say “everything is fine”. Fight for a full thyroid panel, even if that means finding a new doctor that respects how you want to learn about your body.

Subclinical hypothyroidism is R E A L and a reason why you should always have a team of functional medicine practitioners for your health. In the functional medicine realm, we have a smaller lab range we use because we’re aiming for you to feel OPTIMAL.

Subclinical hypothyroidism is when your thyroid levels aren’t optimal, but “within conventional range”. Thyroid hormones are normal, but TSH levels can be slightly elevated. It can show some type of failure, but not full-blown hypothyroidism. With these subclinical levels, you can still feel the negative effects of a low functioning thyroid AND work to improve it before it hits an official diagnosis by your doctor.

Lahana Vigliano, CCN

Don’t let your thyroid affect your infertility! Having a full functioning thyroid is SO important for making that baby! If you are wanting to a use a food-as-medicine approach and dive into how your diet and lifestyle is affecting your thyroid and fertility, fill out the form on our Services page to request your free phone call with us!

P.S. We also have a FREE hypothyroid class that dives into root causes of hypothyroidism, nutrients for hypothyroid, and so much more!

Lahana Vigliano, CCN
Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).