Hormonal Imbalance and its Effects on Pregnancy
Have you been trying to get pregnant for quite some time but not successful??
Then, hormonal imbalance in your body or that of your partner may be one of the likely causes. The correct interplay of hormones is essential for regular menstruation and ovulation (egg release). The hormones that play crucial role in women of reproductive age group include estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, prolactin and thyroid. The male reproductive system produces various hormones like estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, thyroid hormones, cortisol, testosterone, etc. Out of these, testosterone is the most important one. Hormonal imbalances in a woman may cause ovulation problems, while a hormonal imbalance in a man may affect sperm production.
Can you suspect if you have a hormonal imbalance?
Irregular periods and lighter or heavier menstruation flow are an indication that FSH and LH levels may be off. Hormonal imbalances may also cause some women to gain weight, grow hair in unwanted places (including the upper lip, chin, abdomen and chest), lose hair on the scalp and develop acne.
Stress, weight loss or gain and even a new intense workout are all enough to cause temporary problems with ovulation, but sometimes hormone imbalances occur because your body’s systems are malfunctioning. Stressful lifestyle and faulty dietary habits are the reason for increasing hormonal imbalances. Today, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common conditions with hormonal imbalance that most women encounter.
Another condition known as premature ovarian failure (POF) is an ovulation disorder affecting, typically, women under the age of 40. Women with POF have ovaries that have stopped working, causing irregular periods (or none at all).
Thyroid disease may also cause hormonal imbalances that affect fertility. Hyperthyroidism is the condition where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones. Similarly when the thyroid gland produces too few hormones, it is called hypothyroidism. Either scenario may disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle.
To make an accurate diagnosis when a hormonal imbalance is suspected, tests to check your thyroid function, estradiol (estrogen) levels, progesterone levels, prolactin levels, and tests to determine your ovarian reserve, as well as a urine sample to test the level of LH may be ordered.
After diagnosis, a gynecologist can advise appropriate treatment to correct the hormonal imbalance, thereby improving the chances of pregnancy. Eating a nutritious balanced diet, exercise and stress management also go a long way in tackling hormonal imbalance. In some cases where medications fail, assisted reproductive techniques like IVF can help you get pregnant and have a baby.
Gain an insight on more issues related to high risk pregnancy in our forthcoming articles on our blog.