It is important to check the thyroid prior to starting Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment or attempting to get pregnant because thyroid function can have a significant impact on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate metabolism and play a critical role in fertility and pregnancy. Thyroid hormones are important for the development of the follicles in the ovaries and for the proper function of the corpus luteum, which is responsible for producing progesterone after ovulation. Thyroid hormones are also essential for the development of the fetus, particularly in the first trimester.
Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can disrupt these processes and lead to fertility problems or pregnancy complications. For example, untreated hypothyroidism can cause irregular periods, anovulation (lack of ovulation), and infertility. In pregnancy, untreated hypothyroidism can increase the risk of miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and other complications.
Similarly, untreated hyperthyroidism can also lead to fertility problems and complications in pregnancy, including an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight.
Therefore, checking thyroid function prior to starting ART treatment or attempting to get pregnant is important to identify and treat any underlying thyroid disorders. If a thyroid disorder is detected, appropriate treatment can be initiated to help optimize fertility and improve pregnancy outcomes.
In summary, checking the thyroid prior to starting ART treatment or attempting to get pregnant is an important part of preconception care to help ensure the best possible outcomes for both the mother and the baby.