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How Your Thyroid Can Affect Menstruation

As women, our periods can define our health. It is our bodies natural response to have regular monthly periods. Therefore, an irregular mensural cycle is a sign that your body is screaming for help.

The thyroid gland plays an important role in women’s bodies, especially in reproductive health.  As a result, it can directly affect your ovaries as well as the production of your sex hormones.

Consequently, having a thyroid problem may be the culprit of your menstrual irregularities. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms during your menstrual cycle, you may need to question whether your thyroid is responsible for these issues.

Keep in mind, that the more severe your thyroid disease is the more likely you are to experience menstrual irregularities. Even if you are having normal cycles, it does not rule out a thyroid problem.

Hypothyroidism and Menstruation

Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid gland, is a disorder that causes your body to not produce enough thyroid hormones. There are many menstrual irregularities associated with hypothyroidism,  including:

  • Heavy periods
  • Frequent to infrequent bleeding
  • Absent menstrual cycles
  • Heavy Menstruation
  • Heavy mensuration can be defined from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, as one or more from this list
  • Bleeding for more than seven days
  • Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row
  • Needing to wear more than one pad at a time to control menstrual flow
  • Needing to change pads or tampons during the night
  • Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger

Please remember that hypothyroidism can be one cause of heavy bleeding,  but there are many other causes. Some are:

  • Fibroids
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Infections
  • Anemia
  • Absent or Infrequent Menstruation
  • Absent  (amenorrhea) or infrequent periods (oligomenorrhea) can occur with hypothyroidism. This occurs due to the increase in thyroid releasing hormones (TRH) for those with hypothyroidism. High TRH levels cause a release of prolactin from the pituitary gland.

Prolactin interferes with estrogen production, causing absent or infrequent periods. In addition, it can cause:

  • Infertility
  • Milky discharge from the breast
  • Symptoms of menopause
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness

Hyperthyroidism and Menstruation

Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone. Absent or infrequent periods are the most common menstruation symptom with hyperthyroidism. The increase of thyroid hormone increases the sex hormones which can prevent ovulation, which leads to fertility problems in many women. As well as, a large number of hormones produced increases the risk of miscarriage.

Symptoms 

If you are hyperthyroid, you may show symptoms of hypothyroidism and vice versa.  So, balancing your thyroid will help to regulate your menstrual cycle. If you are having any type of irregularities with your period please talk to your doctor.

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