If you have been struggling with infertility for an extended period of time, whether you are failing to conceive or having to go through multiple early losses, get your thyroid checked. Properly. This is even more important if you experience any of the following issues:
You often feel cold, colder than those around you.
You feel more tired and sluggish than you ought to feel.
Your skin is dry, maybe increased hair loss.
You don't sleep well, waking frequently in the night
You get night sweats
Your BBT chart seems to track lower than the ideal temp range (ie your follicular phase temps sit around 35.9-36.1`C instead of sitting around 36.3`C)
This is a simple thing to test, and in some cases it is a ridiculously simple thing to fix, though in some cases thyroid issues are an indication of more complex underlying issues.
And yet more often than not it isn't checked, and if it is checked, it isn't checked properly. If you have had your thyroid checked and been told it is all OK, look carefully at what they checked. To know that your thyroid has been checked well enough to be confident it isn't part of your infertility issues you have to look at more than simply TSH.
More than TSH and Free T4.
More than TSH, Free T4 and Free T3.
You need to see that they have checked:
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Free T4 (thyroxine)
The two main thyroid antibodies (TGA and TPO)
If they haven't checked all of those, in one single test, the thyroid hasn't been checked well enough.
I use @Medichecks for this, their Advanced Thyroid Test is a really useful test, it looks at the following markers: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Folate, Ferritin and CRP HS.
Find an experienced fertility expert to help you interpret the results, it's a much better idea than trying to figure things out on your own (Medichecks test results are checked and interpreted by a medic, but it is important to get the results explained to you in relation to fertility).
Your NHS GP is very unlikely to run the full test for you (though they are often happy to check TSH and FT4). There are restrictions on what tests they can request and it is usually difficult to get a test that includes FreeT3 and almost impossible to get an NHS GP to check thyroid antibodies. You need to see the thyroid antibodies, even if your TSH and FT4 look normal. Thyroid antibodies can be like a swarm of bees to your thyroid - they might sit quietly in the corner and not do much harm, but if something triggers them into action they can play havoc with thyroid function which can make it really difficult for the body to cope with early pregnancy.
If the thyroid antibodies are raised, something as simple as thyroid medication can make the difference between a miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy, but raised thyroid antibodies can be an early warning of wider issues with the immune system, suggesting that there may be issues with microbiome dysbiosis or chronic infections, autoimmune system irregularities, mold etc. If your thyroid antibodies are raised, staying tuned as some of the other tests in this series might be of interest to you.
I'm a Fertility Support Trained Acupuncturist. Yes, we do the acupuncture magic stuff - but we also know a lot about the science of fertility and how to investigate it properly. We're trained to look at this kind of thing and to know when to refer on and who to refer on to.
Stay tuned for the rest of my 12 Days, 12 Posts - and if you think someone needs to be following this series, please share.