Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy: Healthy tips for healthy mother & baby

Maternal hyperthyroidism is a relatively uncommon issue, which can genuinely confuse pregnancy in every one of its periods. The most well-known reason for hyperthyroidism during pregnancy is Graves’ disease.

hyperthyroidism and pregnancy

Graves’ disease is a complex immune system issue, described via autoantibodies that actuate the TSH receptor. These autoantibodies can cross the placenta and have impact on fetal and neonatal thyroid brokenness, notwithstanding when the mother herself is in a normal condition.

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy can cause conditions like Graves’ disease, hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational transient hyperthyroidism, hydatiform mola, and choriocarcinoma.


Clinical diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

The signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include increased heartbeat, palpitations, anxiety, goiter, weight reduction, thyromegaly, exophthalmia, expanded hunger, sickness and heaving, sweating, and tremor. These symptoms are observed in pregnant ladies who have typical thyroid capacity. The most unfair highlights of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy are increased heartbeat and weight reduction.

Most pregnant ladies with hyperthyroidism have just been analyzed before pregnancy.

Pregnant ladies can tolerate gentle to direct degrees of hyperthyroidism generally well.  If the diagnosis is doubtful, the thyroid function tests should be repeated in 3 or 4 weeks to confirm the final diagnosis.


Graves’ disease, is an immune system sickness, might be intensified in the early parts of pregnancy, however as immunity is suppressed in the pregnancy, Graves’ disease improves.

Estimation of antibodies

Antithyroid antibodies are found in patients with thyroid disease, as a reaction to thyroid antigens. The two most basic antithyroid antibodies are thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase (Anti TPO).

The antibodies should be estimated in the following conditions:

Ladies with Graves’ disease who had fetal or neonatal hyperthyroidism in a past pregnancy

Ladies with Graves’ infection who get antithyroid medications

Euthyroid pregnant lady with fetal tachycardia or intrauterine development restriction

Presence of fetal goiter on ultrasound.

Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy can affect the pregnant lady and her fetus; it can become dangerous also.

Whenever left untreated, it can cause hypertension, congestive heart failure, thyroid storm with labor, abortion, premature labor, stillbirth or neonatal demise, low birth weight infant, and fetal abnormality.

Preconceptional Counselling

Preconceptional counseling is significant. We understand that counseling about the impacts of the disease on maternal wellbeing and fetal health can remove all the tension that may be present. The patient’s thyroid status should be checked often to limit the danger of premature labor.


Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

Thioamide group of treatment (propylthiouracil, methimazole, carbimazole) is the mainline treatment, demonstrated for moderate or severe hyperthyroidism.

The drug of choice is propylthiouracil. It is given in a dose of 100–150 mg three times daily until the patient becomes euthyroid (with normal thyroid function tests) at which time the dose should be reduced to the lowest amount to maintain the euthyroid state.

Although there have been no prospective clinical trials; multiple case reports have associated methimazole with two types of fetal abnormalities: choanal or esophageal atresia and aplasia cutis.

Beta-blockers are generally not prescribed, however not totally, so that propranolol can be utilized until T4 levels standardized.

hyperthyroidism and pregnancy

The complications of the medications in Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy:

Lower Apgar scores

Intrauterine development impediment

Postnatal bradycardia, hypothermia, and hypoglycemia

Neonatal respiratory distress

Counseling of the patient is essential; discussing the maternal-fetal and breastfeeding effects of the treatment are also valuable.

It is also essential to check the infants for possible thyroid dysfunction.

Postpartum management of Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy

During the postpartum period, it is advised for the mother to breastfeed her baby, as the excretion in the milk of antithyroid drugs is very low. It is, therefore, safe to continue treatment and breastfeeding. Radioiodine therapy is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding since it affects the fetal/newborn thyroid and may result in thyroid ablation and hypothyroidism.


  • Close teamwork between obstetricians and endocrinologists minimize fetal and maternal risks of Graves’ disease, leading to the excellent prognosis of both of them.
  • First-line therapy for Grave’s disease during pregnancy includes antithyroid drugs (preferably propylthiouracil).
  • To asses, fetal thyroid function, fetal ultrasound at 28–32 weeks should be performed if there is evidence of active maternal Grave’s disease.
  • The improvement in the management of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy, mainly due to Graves’ disease will depend on the capacity of the evaluation of thyroid function during gestation

You may like to read ” Pregnancy diet: know the basics of pregnancy food list” here.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: