What are the risks of thyroid disorders in pregnancy?

 

Hypothyroidism in pregnancy, if left inadequately untreated, has been associated with numerous maternal complications such as anemia, muscle pain, congestive heart failure, hypertension, placental abnormalities, and postpartum bleeding. There are risks associated with the fetus during hypothyroidism, such as miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight. As thyroid hormones are critical for brain development, hypothyroidism in pregnancy is associated with developmental abnormalities, reduced IQ, and delays in neurocognitive development and impaired intellectual development.12,13,14

 

Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is relatively rare, and is most typically caused by Graves' disease (toxic goiter). Hyperthyroidism in pregnancy can result in maternal complications such as early labor and pre-eclampsia. Mothers with untreated hyperthyroidism are also at risk for thyroid storm. Fetal complications from untreated hyperthyroidism include prematurity, stillbirths, and possible congenital malformations.13,14

References: 12. Fast Facts For Your Health. Thyroid Disease and Women. National Women’s Health Resource Center. Red Bank, NJ.2006 13. Stagnaro-Green A et al. Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy and Postpartum. Thyroid. 2011. 14. American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Disease and Pregnancy. Accessed from: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Thyroid_Disesease_Pregnancy_brochure.pdf August 2016

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