Thyroid disease may cause pregnancy complications

There are many complications that can arise during pregnancy, and if you have certain medical conditions, you need to be particularly cautious while expecting a baby. For example, Medscape recently reported on a study conducted by researchers from the National Institutes for Health's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which found that if you have thyroid disease, you may have an increased risk of experiencing preeclampsia or preterm birth, among other complications, compared to those without the condition. 

"Although we know from previous studies that thyroid diseases are associated with pregnancy complications, ours is the largest so far - more than 220,000 pregnancies," lead author Tuija Mannisto, M.D., told Medscape. 

A large study
According to Mannisto, the size of the trial allowed for the researchers to not only examine some common pregnancy complications and thyroid conditions, but rare ones as well. For example, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were found to increase a woman's risk of ending up in the intensive care unit during her pregnancy. 

The researchers said that these findings should encourage doctors to closely monitor pregnant women who have thyroid conditions. However, more research will need to be conducted to determine if sufficiently treating thyroid conditions will lower risks to pregnant women. 

"Future research is still needed to distinguish whether women with adequately treated thyroid disease have higher risk of pregnancy complications due to the disease itself or if treatment can truly prevent adverse outcomes," explained the study authors, quoted by Medscape. 

The scientists explained that, in the U.S., 4 percent of pregnant women have a thyroid condition each year. Along with preeclampsia. preterm birth and being admitted to the ICU, these women were found to have an increased risk of gestational diabetes, induced labor, cesarean section and placental abruption. 

While these findings do not suggest that women with a thyroid condition are guaranteed to experience pregnancy complications, it is a cause for concern. 

Other things to look out for 
If you have thyroid disease, you not only have to be careful about pregnancy complications, but mood swings as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, thyroid disease can affect your mood and cause anxiety and depression. Since pregnancy can also cause mood swings, you should talk to your doctor about ways to mitigate this issue. 

Do you have a thyroid condition and have had a baby? If so, did you encounter any complications? Leave your story here!