Should my TSH levels be tested before I get pregnant?

Young man caressing the belly of a pregnant woman

Infertility may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. If you are having difficulty conceiving and you have other hypothyroidism symptoms, talk to your doctor about having your TSH levels tested.

Also, some pregnant women should have their TSH levels measured early in the pregnancy to detect thyroid disease. They include women with:

  • Age of more than 30 years
  • A history of thyroid disease or prior thyroid surgery
  • A family history of thyroid disease
  • A goitre (an enlarged thyroid)
  • Thyroid antibodies
  • Symptoms of thyroid underfunction or overfunction, including low red blood cells (called anemia), high cholesterol and low levels of sodium in the blood (called hyponatremia)
  • Type I diabetes
  • Other autoimmune disorders (such as lupus or vitiligo)
  • Previous radiation therapy to the head or neck
  • A history of miscarriage or preterm delivery
  • Infertility
  • A BMI greater than or equal to 40 (being very overweight)
  • A need for amiodarone (a drug for irregular heartbeats), lithium or recent administration of iodinated contrast agent (often used during a CT scan)
  • Living in an area of known for moderate to severe iodine insufficiency.