PCOS and Hypothyroidism

What is the Link between PCOS and Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is more common in women with PCOS than in women without it.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of your body.

PCOS causes your ovaries to produce abnormally high levels of testosterone and unusually low levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Lower oestrogen and progesterone levels can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, missed periods and unpredictable ovulation.

Hypothyroidism affects the ovaries in a similar way as PCOS. It causes the enlargement of the ovaries and the formation of cysts upon them. It worsens PCOS symptoms, including an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Hypothyroidism can also increase the production of testosterone. This can increase the risk of PCOS-related symptoms like acne, male-pattern hair loss and also irregular periods. Too much testosterone can also interfere with the development of the follicles (the sacs in the ovaries where eggs develop) and prevent normal ovulation (the release of a mature egg).

 

How to Treat Hypothyroidism and PCOS?

The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is the medicine called levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is a pill that should be taken every day in the morning, with the dosage adjusted to keep thyroid hormones in balance. In women who have infertility, levothyroxine therapy that is started at least three months before pregnancy is sufficient to allow conception.

PCOS is typically treated with oral contraceptives in patients that are not currently trying to get pregnant. If however you are attempting to conceive, the front-line treatment is metformin, a drug that is also used to treat diabetes and prediabetes.

However, patients who take both drugs often show lower TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) concentration. Metformin may affect thyroxine receptors and enhance the bioavailability of thyroxine. Therefore if you take levothyroxine and start taking metformin, your levothyroxine dosage will need to be adjusted.

Levothyroxine should not be taken within four hours of calcium or fibre supplements, and you should not drink any coffee immediately after having the medication. But there is no evidence that you need to take metformin and levothyroxine separately.

 

PCOS and Hypothyroidism’s Effect on Pregnancy:

Both conditions can negatively impact your ability to conceive, and both should be treated if you’re attempting to become pregnant.

Low levels of thyroid hormone are associated with pregnancy loss. If your thyroid is normal, it naturally increases production to provide for your baby’s needs, but an impaired thyroid is not able to do so.

In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant.

If you suffer from either one or both of these illnesses then you should visit a hospital. The Chennai PCOS Clinic has many doctors who can help you become pregnant even if you have PCOS and hypothyroidism. You will be given proper medication and treatments for your conditions. Once you get treated by us, we can assure you that you will be able to have a baby.

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