TSH study

The hormone THS, or thyrotropin, is produced by the pituitary gland and controls the levels of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The pituitary gland produces large amounts of it when thyroid hormones are insufficient, and it reduces its production when there are too many of these hormones. It is very important to test your TSH during pregnancy to determine if your thyroid hormone levels are normal. TSH levels increase with hypothyroidism and decrease with hyperthyroidism.

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1. When to do the TSH test?

Pre-pregnancy testing for THS is very important as hormonal problems with thyroid hormones may be asymptomatic or may appear very uncharacteristically. Many women only discover an overactive or underactive thyroid gland when they do pregnancy tests or tests to find out what causes infertility.

Testing is necessary if symptoms appear:

  • hypothyroidism: decreased body temperature, slow heart rate, goiter, feeling cold, weight gain, decreased libido, trouble concentrating, dry skin, constipation;
  • overactive thyroid gland: increased body temperature, fast heart rate, high systolic blood pressure, feeling warm, irritable, trembling, diarrhea.

You should have this type of hormone test before you become pregnant to help counteract the possible consequences of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in pregnancy. The TSH test can be performed on any day of the ovulation cycle, unlike other hormonal tests.

You can also do a TSH test during pregnancy, but in this case you also need to test the level of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. This is necessary due to the physiological reduction in TSH levels in the first trimester of pregnancy.

2. What to do if the TSH test is abnormal?

The results of the TSH test should be interpreted by an endocrinologist. He will assess whether it is a pathology of pregnancy and whether treatment is needed. Too high TSH level suggests hypothyroidism, while too low TSH level may mean hyperthyroidism. In both cases, it is necessary to balance the levels of these hormones.

Normal maternal thyroid hormone levels control the baby's development, especially the development of the brain and bones. In the case of a deficiency of these hormones, the child's brain may underdevelop and develop bone defects, premature detachment of the placenta and miscarriage. In women with hypothyroidism, infertility may occur, and therefore TSH testing is recommended in case of problems with conceiving a child. An overactive thyroid, in turn, increases a woman's risk of developing pre-eclampsia and hypertension. As a result of too high thyroid hormone levels, the baby may develop birth defects and miscarriage.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism eliminates the risk of these complications. Therefore, the examination of TSH and the early diagnosis of thyroid problems is very important for the expectant mother.

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