Hypothyroidism and pregnancy


  • This is the most common thyroid disorder occurring around or during pregnancy.
  • In pregnant state hypothyroidism is usually overlooked because of similar features such as weight gain, fatigue and swelling and symptoms of both may overlap.


The diagnosis of hypothyroid state in pregnancy can be confirmed by thyroid function tests especially serum TSH level. Thyroid function test should be done every 2-3 months in pregnant women suffering from hypothyroidism.


  • Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone preparations (like Levothyroxine). Since these medications (particularly Levothyroxine) are similar to the thyroid hormone made by the normal thyroid gland, it is safe to take them during pregnancy. These medications do not cross the placenta and therefore are safe for the developing baby. It is safe to breast feed the child even when the mother is on Levothyroxine. Moreover normal thyroid function is also essential for adequate milk production.
  • Those women having hypothyroidism prior to pregnancy should be aware that their dose of medication may have to be increased during pregnancy.


Untreated hypothyroidism may cause spontaneous abortion or fetal death.