How thyroid affects your menstruation cycle?

Thyroid or thyroid gland is one of the biggest glands in the human body that is situated in the anterior neck covered by muscles and skin. It looks like butterfly and has two lobes. The function of thyroid gland is to make thyroid hormones. The sensitivity of body to other hormones, the speed of energy usage and making of proteins are controlled by thyroid gland. In other words, thyroid regulates metabolism of the body and thus the cell function. It is directly related to all the cells in the body. The thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine/tetraiodothyronine (T4).

According to a study, 8/100 women are affected by thyroid diseases. The reproductive organs and the thyroid hormones are connected through endocrine gland. When there is a problem with the thyroid gland, it reflects in the menstruation cycles of women. There are quite a few diseases related to thyroid disorders. The ones that affect the menstruation cycle most commonly are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism: It is a condition where excessive thyroid hormones are secreted. The common symptoms include weight loss, heat intolerance, nervousness, fast heart-beat etc. Hyperthyroidism has an adverse effect on periods too, with the following conditions:

  • Scant menstruation periods

  • Irregular periods / oligomenorrhea

  • Reaching puberty late

  • Long gap between periods / absence of periods / Amenorrhea

  • Decreased amount of bleeding / lighter periods

Hyperthyroidism can be treated and cured by reducing the hormone secretion.

Hypothyroidism: It is a condition wherein a very low level of thyroid hormones is present. This is due to the failure of thyroid gland and is known as autoimmune thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism is known to cause severe problems in the age group 20-40 of women. This is considered one of many reasons for reproductive system failures and can even cause infertility in the worst cases. It also affects multiple body systems, like the cardiovascular system, body’s central nervous system, cerebral functions, etc. It slows down the heartbeat, causes memory loss, brittle nails, poor tolerance to cold, weight gain etc. It affects the menstrual cycle in women. The following are the commonly known effects of hypothyroidism on menstrual cycles of women:

  • Very frequent periods

  • Reaching puberty at a very young age

  • Very short gap between periods (less than 21 days is considered worrisome)

  • Heavy bleeding during periods / menorrhagia

  • Severe pains and abdominal cramps during menstruation / Dysmenorrhea

  • Periods last over 6-7 days

Hypothyroidism can be treated and cured by increasing the amount of thyroid hormones.

Treatments:

The abnormalities in periods are caused by both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. With the symptoms, an early realization of the problem and early treatment can give a long lasting cure. Else the thyroid dysfunction can affect functioning of sex hormones, menstrual cycles, ovary health, etc. Any change in the menstruation cycles associated with weight gain/loss should immediately be taken to the notice of a physician. A TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), T3 and T4 levels help identify the type. Thyroid related diseases are completely curable with just a simple medication.

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