INFERTILITY CAUSE – Is this what’s not letting you get pregnant?
What if I told you that what’s possibly not letting you get pregnant is right here in your neck and is shaped like a butterfly. Even if you’ve had your labs checked and they look normal, or you’ve been told that they look normal, you might be surprised to find out that this might actually be affecting your fertility. This week on Fertility TV, we’re going to talk about one of the main root issues that I find in the couples that I coach, the women that I coach in my programs that actually affects their fertility even when their labs often look normal, but you’ve got to keep watching to learn more.
Hi, my name is Dr. Marc Sklar, the fertility expert. And welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been helping couples for over 18 years through my online fertility coaching programs and right here in San Diego at my clinics. But before we get started with this week’s topic, I want to give a big shout out to Let’s Get Checked who sponsored this video and made it possible for me to support all of you on your fertility journeys.
So this week we’re going to be talking about your thyroid and how your thyroid possibly can be affecting your fertility and reproductive function along with so many other things. And actually one in eight women are affected by thyroid issues and upwards of 60% of you don’t even know you have a thyroid problem because you’ve not been checked or you feel fine enough, or you’re comfortable enough with the way you feel that you’re not recognizing that that might be an issue and certainly not be an issue with regards to your thyroid.
Thyroid issues often go unnoticed because a lot of the symptoms associated with thyroid issues, and we’ll go through those in just a moment, are every day symptoms. And we get used to feeling a certain way. I often talk to couples and women and explain to them that when you’re used to feeling here, let’s just say this is the scale and you’re used to always feeling like this, you think this is normal. You think this is 100% of feeling great. But you don’t know what’s possible because you forgot what it feels like to feel that way, or you’ve never experienced it. So until we start to clear out some of these issues, some of these day-to-day issues of just having enough energy, feeling good, thinking clearly, having good body weight and so forth, once we start clearing those things out, you start to recognize that instead of feeling here on this scale, you could feel like this and that feels great.
And so then you realize that the world is open to you, that there’s so much more possibility. But we often don’t recognize that. And many of you, your symptoms when you do complain about having issues are put down or dismissed because they look at your labs and they say everything looks fine so you must be healthy. But that’s not how you feel. So let’s get into some of that so we can get a better understanding for how the thyroid works, how it functions in the body, and more importantly, what it does for fertility. Thyroid hormone that you get checked the most that is always concerning, always worried about, and the one that everyone primarily gets checked and tested is called TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone.
TSH is actually produced in the brain in the pituitary and it stimulates your thyroid, which is behind your neck right here. It stimulates the thyroid gland to produce two main hormones, T4 and T3. These are the two primary thyroid hormones that then circulate throughout the body and can affect every cell in the body. These two hormones trigger cellular change and this is what causes all of these different signs and symptoms that may be influenced by the thyroid because the thyroid regulates all sorts of body function like energy, like metabolism, like temperature. And so these are all crucial body functions that we somewhat take for granted because we don’t put a lot of time and focus into it, but it affects a lot of these little things and this is what makes us feel good. This is what allows us to feel healthy and with enough vitality and energy.
So the thyroid has a profound reach and big effect on all sorts of different systems, which I want to get into right now. So I’m going to start off by talking about some of the general areas or systems that the thyroid can influence. So one of those things is metabolism and weight. If the thyroid is functioning properly, then hopefully it’s not affecting you to put on too much weight or to be too thin, to burn more weight and to have your metabolism run faster. So this is something we always want our thyroid to be functioning optimally, right in the middle and we’ll talk about that in just a moment. But metabolism and weight is one of the key signs and symptoms that we might start to think about being a thyroid problem when couples approach us and when women approach us when they’re starting to not feel great.
And when we start to have questions or start to ask questions of all of you, often we’re talking about, well, how is your weight? Can you put it on easily? Can you control it? Do you have a hard time getting rid of excess weight when you want to? These are things that we need to consider. So metabolism weight is number one.
Number two is hair. Hair growth, hair quality, and I would also say the quality of your skin. Is your skin too dry? Is your hair too thin, too brittle? Is it not growing well enough? So this starts to show you the far reaching effects of your thyroid. It can deal with weight and metabolism. It can affect your hair. It can also affect body temperature. So do you run too cold? Do you run too hot? Can you regulate properly between warming your body or cooling your body down? These are key signs and symptoms that may be associated with your thyroid function.
Another important one, which we always talk about is energy. How are you feeling? Do you have enough energy to make it through the day? Do you get tired too quickly? Do you need a nap? Do you start to get run down very quickly? Do you always feel like you’re hyper, very difficult to wind down? These are different aspects of potentially thyroid function. So energy or the ability to regulate and have good energy and balance energy throughout the day is also one that’s important when we’re thinking about thyroid.
Mood and brain clarity or mental clarity, mental focus. So one, our mood. Do we have depression? Are we sad? And mental focus, can we focus clearly? Can we put our mind on something and not get distracted very easily or lose our place? So these also can be associated with thyroid function and something that we need to start to gather the bigger picture. So when you start to see all these things, you see that it has a far reaching effect. It’s got a big web. And when we start to ask these questions, or you start to complain potentially about some of these things, we can start to pull together this piece that your thyroid may be affected and might be needing a little bit more support. But you all are watching this video because you want more information about fertility reproductive function. And in this case, how your thyroid affects those areas. So let’s talk about those right now as well.
So your thyroid helps to control hormones. It actually helps to control your primary hormones, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and maybe a not so primary hormone or one that you don’t think of as a primary hormone, cortisol as well. So it helps to regulate those primary hormones, which shows you how much it can influence both positively and negatively your hormone regulation and balance. And as a side note, when we start talking about or thinking about menstrual regulation or menstrual regularities, having a regular menstrual cycle that’s long enough, that’s healthy enough, good 28 days and so forth, this also can be influenced by your thyroid. If it has an effect on estrogen and progesterone and testosterone and cortisol, as a by-product also then stress, then that can also impact your menstrual cycle. So we have to look at thyroid function if you’re having an irregular cycle or if you also have no cycle at all, we do need to take a closer look at your thyroid function and make sure that it’s not playing a role or maybe it is and it needs a little bit more support.
Women with PCOS I do find have a stronger correlation to having thyroid issues as well. That’s a secondary issue that I want to always look at and rule out. And if you’re having any menstrual irregularity, we want to make sure that we address your thyroid. So I did mention cortisol levels. Cortisol levels are something that we look at when we’re trying to see how much stress is impacting your body and your health. Now, I can tell you that one of the biggest things that I see is your adrenal function, your stress response, your fight or flight response impacting your overall health and your fertility, and thyroid function is no different. One of the main things that I see is that when we’re under increased stress, it can impact our thyroid function because they both come together in the pituitary and hypothalamus. It’s called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal access.
And so we already mentioned earlier that TSH is also produced there, and so if we’re having increased stress, we can see that it can impact your hypothalamus and pituitary, which can in turn impact your thyroid function by impacting the way your hypothalamus pituitary regulate or produce TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone. So stress can absolutely affect your thyroid and your thyroid and stress can also impact your menstruation and your hormones. Additionally, as we just talked about progesterone and estrogen being primary hormones, and knowing that thyroid can influence those hormones, this also shows us what sort of impact your thyroid can have on not only getting pregnant, but staying pregnant. So we do need to look at your thyroid in terms of its function to make sure that it helps you get pregnant, that’s one aspect of it, but we also want to look at your thyroid function to make sure that it helps you stay pregnant.
And for me, those are a little bit two different things. So we’re looking, or I’m at least looking at two different variables when I’m looking at both getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Getting pregnant, we want to make sure your thyroid function, TSH, T4, T3 are all healthy and regulated and working properly. For staying pregnant, I want to make sure that those are not only doing that, but that your thyroid antibodies are healthy and low, so not elevated, so that it allows your body to support and maintain a healthy pregnancy. This piece about thyroid and fertility is one of the more common things. It’s actually one of the top factors influencing fertility that I see and that I work on all the time. So why is it that many of you come in with thyroid labs done and have been told that everything looks fine? Well, we’re looking at it from two different perspectives. First and foremost, the range of all these different hormones, TSH, T4, T3, also free T4 and free T3 are large ranges.
And for fertility, we’d like for those ranges to be smaller. So if you’re just looking at the clinical reference range and your GP or OB is not thinking about fertility and reproductive function, then they have these bigger reference ranges, well, those aren’t ideal for fertility. For fertility, we want to see your TSH specifically and I’m going to talk about this one primarily because that’s the primary hormone that’s often checked, is we want to see that be between one and two. That’s a much more narrow range versus 0.45 to 5.4. That’s a much bigger range. So we want to see that be between one and two, and for sure below two and a half. Anything that starts to creep higher than that, we start to get concerned and want to look at a little bit more. Additionally, we often find that many of you have never had your thyroid antibodies even checked. And so we certainly want to do that because we want to make sure that your immune system is functioning fine, that it’s not affecting your thyroid function and in turn not affecting your fertility or inability to hold a pregnancy.
Now, what’s the best way to get this tested? Before I jump into that, I want to ask all of you to give me some feedback. Comment below and let me know, have you had your thyroid tested, and not just your TSH. Have you had all your thyroid hormones tested? Have you had those looked at, and if so, what did you find out? Let me know in the comments. I want to hear from you. Now, when we’re talking about testing, there are several ways that you can get tested. But my favorite way is to do it at home. It’s easy and that’s where Let’s Get Checked comes in. Let’s Get Checked, first and foremost makes it easy for you to have your thyroid checked, makes it convenient because you can do it at home in the comfort of your own home. It’s this simple little test right here, and I’ll go through it in just a moment that allows you to get tested at home in the privacy of your home, and you don’t have to worry about either making it to the lab.
You don’t have to worry about trying to get approval from your doctor or your insurance company to get this tested because they make it not only easy, but also affordable and very private. Because once you send in the blood to the lab in the mail, which is easy, you just drop it in, in three to five days, get you the results back online in a private portal that’s just for you with just your results. So not only is it easy to give the blood, but it’s easy to get the results and it’s quick. So this is by far my favorite way, because often what happens when you go to your doctor to ask them is you get a lot of pushback.
You get a lot of complaining. “You don’t need it. Everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it,” or they just want to test one variable TSH and not everything. And the other beautiful thing about Let’s Get Checked as they check all the main and important thyroid hormones. So they do all your primary thyroid hormones plus the antibodies, which is really important for me. And like I mentioned, previously, many of you don’t get tested. So this is my preferred way for all of you to get tested. You can purchase your own kit right here, and it will be shipped straight to your house if you want to and get those results privately on your own by using the link in the description. So it’s easy, it’s affordable and it gets you the right information, which is by far the most important thing for me. Again, if you want that information, or if you want to order the kit more importantly, just use the link in the description. That will take you right there so that you can get started at home.
So when this gets delivered to your house, it’s really simple. You just open it up and all you’re going to do is take this little vial right here. They give you everything you need right inside this packaging, and with all of this and this, that’s it. This is what you need to collect, which is really small. You collect your blood, send it back to them, and then they get you the results. And not only that, they’re going to have a physician in their staff review your results and have a nurse reach out to you for a private consultation to review them with you as well. It’s awesome. It’s easy. And you get a little personalization to have somebody review it with you.
So again, if you want to order this on your own, to find more information about what your thyroid is doing, how it’s functioning and more importantly, what it’s doing for your fertility, then I encourage you to check out this test from Let’s Get Checked, and you can do that by using the link in the description below. So I’d love to dive deeper into how to read your thyroid results and what it all means, but this video is getting a little bit too long. So what I think I’m going to do instead is actually do another video on that in the future, in the coming week. So if you want me to do a future video on how to read your thyroid results and what it all means from Let’s Get Checked, then just comment below and let me know.
So if you’ve had your thyroid checked and your doctor told you everything looks normal, I want you to have a deeper look. And I don’t know if any of you remember, but weeks ago I shared a story about a woman who was told her thyroid looked fine, then I looked deeper and we supported it, we treated it, and she was able to get pregnant. That can be you. If you missed that story, I’m going to leave it right here for you to check out as well so that you can see what’s possible with the right information and the right testing. So if you’ve had an incomplete thyroid lab before where they didn’t check everything, or you want a fresh look at your thyroid, I encourage you to take a look and get your thyroid tested again. It’s never been easier than it is now with Let’s Get Checked.
So if you found this video useful and helpful, give me a thumbs up. If you want more information like this and you want to dive deeper on thyroid and other things, then leave a comment below and let me know. I want to hear from all of you. By the way, when you leave a comment below the video, that helps this video be found by more women and more couples who need support on their fertility journey. So by leaving a comment, you’re actually helping women from all over the world get better results on their fertility journey. So leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Additionally, I’m going to leave a couple more videos right here that I’ve already created on Fertility TV that might be appropriate for you on your fertility journey. You can check those out right after this video. If you’re not already a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then how dare you? You need to be. And it’s really easy. Just hit that bell and subscribe and you’ll get notified when I put out a new video as well. All right, everyone. Until the next video, I want you all to stay safe, stay healthy, and as always, stay fertile.