During pregnancy the thyroid gland undergoes a serious functional load, due to increased hormonal production. Statistics show that the volume increase in the thyroid gland in a pregnant woman is about 13%, and hormonal gland synthesis increases by 40-60%.
Already in the early stages of embryogenesis, maternal hormones are very important for the growth and development of almost all tissues of the unborn baby. Gradually, the fetus gains greater “independence” from the mother, as the placenta begins to function as a barrier to thyroid hormones. In this regard, it is assumed that the fetus acquires the ability to independent hormonal synthesis of these hormones at 10-12 weeks of gestation.
Need for iodine
A pregnant woman is recommended to consume up to 220 - 250 mg of iodine per day. It should be noted that with iodine deficiency, the synthesis of thyroid hormones is disturbed, and the gland suffers from an increase in volume, which is usually called goiter.
Iodine deficiency also negatively affects the thyroid gland of the fetus, which, like his mother, needs this microelement. The importance of thyroid hormones for the proper development of the fetus is evident in cases of congenital cretinism. These children suffer from dysfunctions of bones and joints associated with dwarfism and deafness with characteristic features: puffy lips and eyelids, thickened tongue, short neck, flat nose, scaly skin.
Risks of hypothyroidism
Women with hypothyroidism are at a high risk of giving birth to children with intellectual disabilities. Other possible complications of maternal hypothyroidism:
- hypertension with a risk of preeclampsia;
- placental abruption;
- low birth weight;
- postpartum hemorrhage:
- congenital malformations.
Risks of hyperthyroidism
On the other hand, there is an opposite condition - hyperthyroidism, i.e. excess thyroid hormones. Gestational hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia, premature birth and perinatal mortality. The most common consequence of pregnant thyrotoxicosis is bazedova disease.
Given all of the above, women planning to become a mother should undergo screening tests of the thyroid gland before or at the latest - at the beginning of pregnancy. Only thanks to modern drug therapy, if there are problems with the thyroid gland, can pregnancy be protected from the risk of adverse consequences for the fetus.