Female doctor examining thyroid glands of pregnant woman in hospital

Often you might hear of someone mentioning they have a thyroid problem, but you might not know that it’s important to know about thyroid and pregnancy.

The thyroid gland is situated in the base of the front of your neck.

The thyroid gland has a vital role in regulating your metabolism. It’s a bit like the carburetor or fuel injection system in a car: controlling how hard your metabolism “rev’s”.

Too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) and you can feel tired, gain weight, feel cold and become low in mood. This is a common condition and called hypothyroidism, it affects 5 – 10% of females during their lifetime.

Too much thyroxine and you lose weight, become agitated, sweat, feel hot and have a racing pulse. This is much less common but has quite serious health implications.

A simple blood test can check thyroid function accurately. If you are pregnant, the thyroid check is done early in your pregnancy.

Normal thyroid function is essential for the developing baby’s growth and brain function.

Both under and overactive thyroid conditions are readily treatable with safe effective medication which your obstetrician will discuss with you. 

Males can be affected by thyroid problems. 

This post was provided by Obstetrician Dr Peter England.

Dr England can also be found on Facebook.