TSH Levels / IVF / Miscarriage - Thyr... - Fertility Network UK

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TSH Levels / IVF / Miscarriage - Thyroid

E2019
E2019

Hey, so I’m not sure if anyone has had a similar situation.. I had my first round of IVF September last year - got pregnant & miscarried at 10 weeks. We are now ready to do frozen embryo transfer (as we have 5 frozen embryos). My acupuncturist suggested getting my Thyroid checked - I’ve had this done & my TSH levels are 0.48 (apparently this is normal level) but my acupuncturist is saying my TSH levels should be between 2 & 2.5 & if I do go ahead with the transfer next month it’s likely I could miscarry again due to this. She is recommending I wait another few months & try to get them higher. Has anyone had a similar experience / have any advice?

46 Replies

Hello, sorry to hear of your loss XX. TSH levels actually need to be below 2 so yours being 0.48 is completely fine. Please ask your fertility consultant if your TSH needs to be done anytime before you start the process. Good luck on your FET

E2019
E2019 in reply to NP2020

Thank you so much for your response & best wishes xx

Hmmmmm.. my fresh transfer (2020) was postponed a month because my TSh levels were at 6.5 and needed to be below 2.5. They put me on thyroid Rx and moved forward when levels were below 3. I would talk to your IVF doctor about that.

Thank you so much for your response, I will give them a ring tomorrow x

I’m sorry for your loss. Mine was nearly 4 so I was put on levothyroxine, my clinic wanted it below 2 (I think). It was 1.1 and they were happy with that. I would check with your clinic. I would’ve thought yours are normal xxx

E2019
E2019 in reply to Peanutchips

Thank you so much for your response xx

Hello there, no I’m sorry I really think you might been given inaccurate advice by your acupuncturist. I have an under active thyroid and have to take levothyroxine daily to keep my levels down. As a general rule fertility clinics like for you to be below 2 or 2.5 max (probs depending on the clinic).

The only reason why you might have to be so specific about your thyroid (maintaining levels between 2-2.5) would be for a very specific thyroid medical condition that I’m not aware of but suspect that’s unlikely. I don’t know why they would say it is likely you would miscarry if you go ahead with the transfer (as if you’re not under enough stress!!)

Do you have a good relationship with the acupuncturist? Do you benefit from the sessions? The only reason I ask is that years ago, I had a fertility acupuncturist who was very opinionated and I had to stop seeing her as she was stressing me out so much. I think the bottom line is do double check with the clinic as they will know your medical history/ protocol etc personally and will just be able to put your mind at ease. Xx

E2019
E2019 in reply to hifer

Thank you very much for your response xx

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to hifer

I had exactly the same experience with my acupuncturist. It was great she was so focused around fertility but I found her opinions left me feeling more stressed sometimes so I wasn’t even getting the relaxation side of it. Felt much better on my next cycle without it x

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Me too! Can I ask where you’re based? X

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to hifer

Cambridge, my acupuncturist was in godmanchester xx

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Interesting. Sorry you had that experience. I’m in London. The time I left and cried was the last! Xx

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to hifer

Me too!! I remember sitting in my car thinking this can’t be helping me! I went back to basics after that, no silly fads and helped me a lot xx

E2019
E2019 in reply to KiboXX

I’ve always been very happy with the acupuncturist but this has left me feeling really anxious & stressed - I know she wants the best for me but I’d literally just psyched myself up to start treatment again & now I feel even worse! It’s good to know that going back to basics helped you! Xx

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to E2019

Honestly I think the best advice I could give you is to take away as much stress as you possibly can. If the acupuncture apps are adding stress rather than removing it then it’s not worth the money. You’d be better off spending it on something to make yourself smile ♥️ xxx

E2019
E2019 in reply to KiboXX

Very true - thank you, really appreciate your responses & advice xx

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Me too. I actually cut out all Chinese medicine and honed down all my supplements. It was all sending me mad (I still take 7 a day but at least I’m happy with the ones I take!!) So many people find different things helpful on this journey so it’s very individual xx

E2019
E2019 in reply to hifer

:( have you stopped having acupuncture treatment altogether now? Have you found it’s helped? Xx

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to E2019

Yes I did acupuncture on my second cycle, I had a miscarriage on my first and I honestly think I just needed someone to talk to about it but I got so stressed with trying to do everything perfectly, she told me what to eat, what to ask my doctors, it just all got too much and I had a terrible cycle. I decided to stop after that and give myself a break. My third cycle I got better results without acupuncture. My fourth cycle, again without acupuncture or any fertility diets, gave me my take home baby xx

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Mine was exactly the same. Sounds like we had very similar experiences x

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to hifer

Hope your 2ww is going ok and you’re managing to stay sane!♥️

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Thank you 🤪. To be honest I’m too tired to be fretting too much. Taking lots of meds does have its plus sides!! Xx

KiboXX
KiboXX in reply to hifer

That’s good! You’re doing better than I ever did 🥴😂 xx

hifer
hifer in reply to KiboXX

Still early days! Plenty of time to go crazy still 😜😂

hifer
hifer in reply to E2019

Sorry wasn’t sure who this question was for but yes I stopped a while ago. It didn’t help me personally but a lot of people on here will say that it did so it’s a very personal choice I think. X

I’m very sorry for your loss 💔

I think consultants have different opinions on what the optimal levels of TSH should be (as well as T4 and T3 levels).

My consultant advised that the latest research shows that a TSH of 4 or less for fertility is okay, however my thyroid specialist who I see monthly for a thyroid screening, likes it under 2.5.

With my first transfer, my TSH was elevated at 5.6 with a lower on the normal side T4 and whilst my consultant wasn’t too concerned, my thyroid specialist was and upped my medication (thyroxine that I take daily).

My levels then dropped to 1.36 (TSH) with a normal T4 (and T3). I mentioned that to my consultant who said that’s fine but we also don’t want it to get much lower than that as that’s not good either. I didn’t press too much on this as I’ve read so many different medical opinions on it that it’s quite confusing.

Anyway, when I started taking all the hormone medication, my levels creeped up quite quickly to 2.36 which is still under normal range - but it does fluctuate quite quickly. If I fall pregnant (🤞🏻), I then have to increase my thyroxine dosage by a further 25mg and have a repeat screening to make sure my levels stay within normal range.

My advice would be to get a thyroid screening blood test done and speak to a doctor who specialises in this, just so for your peace of mind.

Best of luck 🤍💫

E2019
E2019 in reply to XOXO13

Thank you so much for your response & well wishes xx

SianieShorts
SianieShorts in reply to XOXO13

I hope you don’t mind me coming in on this thread. I have under active thyroid and have queried my levels many times but docs just say it’s fine. I believe there is quite a big range they like it between on the nhs. I would like to see a thyroid specialist but no idea where I would find one. I am based in the southwest but happy to travel. Can you help at all? X

XOXO13
XOXO13 in reply to SianieShorts

Hey, originally I went via BUPA to find a recommended doctor. I’m based in central London. Could your GP refer you to an endocrinologist in your local area? I’d probably start there first or explore BUPA?

If you’ve got private insurance via work, you could also go via them?

Given all I’ve read, I prefer my TSH to be below 2.5 despite my fertility consultant advising below 4 is fine.

Hope this helps xx

SianieShorts
SianieShorts in reply to XOXO13

Thank you so much. Very helpful x

I had my TSH checked by my GP when I had my initial fertility check and was told it was normal. I had it done again just before starting IVF and was told it was a bit low. It turned out that my GP considered 0.4-4 normal but the fertility clinic considered 1-2 normal. Mine was around 0.9. They checked my T4 and that was normal so they let me continue.

I would suggest raising this with your clinic and perhaps getting T4 tested as well. I think more people have trouble with TSH being too high rather than too low so it seemed to cause a bit of confusion at my clinic.

(I had two miscarriages since but have been to the miscarriage clinic and my TSH was back 1 now so they didn’t think that was part of my problem.)

Good luck xxx

Thank you for your response & well wishes all very helpful xx

Hello there. I am so so sorry for your loss. With your TSH, I think the range you quoted is low. I say this because mine was similar during a cycle and I had to stop taking it, wait for the thyroid to rebalance and then alternate days of 25mcg of thyroxine to maintain it. Did you check your iron? If low adding a supplement helps with the thyroid. Trick my endocrinologist taught me. So I do 2 iron tablets a day and my thyroxine daily -4 hours a part and it’s the been the only plan that has worked at managing my thyroid. Ask your doctor is probably best. Check free thyroxine, And T4. For conception the range the ladies quoted above is correct. With miscarriage I thought the main reason for this was the embryo. Mother Nature is very strict as Dr George likes to tell me. So very rarely will allow an embryo to thrive if there is a problem with it. For peace of mind speak to your doctor. 💋

E2019
E2019 in reply to leo1980

Thank you so much xx

It’s not just about TSH levels. You should also test actual thyroid hormone levels, FT4, FT3 and thyroid antibodies. TSH is just a level of how much the pituitary gland in the brain is pushing the thyroid to make more hormones. It’s a pituitary hormone not a thyroid hormone.

I’d also recommend reading up on these articles. According to Dr Izabella Wentz, known as The Thyroid Pharmacist, your TSH should be no more than 2.

These two articles by her are about the thyroid and pregnancy and are invaluable:

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

E2019
E2019 in reply to Serendipitious

Thank you so much! Very helpful xx

So my natural thyroid level is 4.6 or thereabouts. I started taking levothyroxine in July 2018 to lower it to 2 or lower, as this is what my GP said is the optimal level for pregnancy. I didn't have any luck with pregnancies for a year (just over) but, when I got pregnant in september last year, my level was 1,cthen lowered to 0.93. This pregnancy is now at 17 weeks, so my personal experience is that 1 is optimal. But I'm not a doctor! (I'm also on all sorts of drugs for nk cells so the level could be irrelevant, maybe 2 is fine too... Who knows!)

E2019
E2019 in reply to Zebedee1971

Thank you so much for your response xx

2.5 is a max not a target level. I would not worry about your tsh

E2019
E2019 in reply to Lilly12255

Thank you xx

My clinic liked it around 1, were ok with below 2.5. But my endocrinologist wrote to my GP to maintain it between 0.3 and 1 for my treatment (0.3 is the bottom of normal). So I think that anything between the bottom of normal and 2 is probably all ok as long as you’re not feeling overly medicated when it’s 0.48.

E2019
E2019 in reply to Orla9298

Thank you xx

Hi I have underactive thyroid, what my GP says is ok is in fact not ok for fertility Treatment - it needs to be lower ( which is what my consultant in my private clinic said). I cannot recall the exact level but around 2 sounds correct. Thyroid checks alone may not be sufficient as the reason of miscarrying and you can have a blood tests for recurrent miscarriages it is expensive but could be what you need. I hope that helps.

E2019
E2019 in reply to Annjali

Thank you - it does help, all of the advice does xx

My levels were too high and my clinic wanted mine below 2 (under 2.5 max). I managed to get mine down from 4.96 and have stayed on meds until I have just gotten pregnant. Im now pregnant and even the hospital are happy to see my levels lower rather than higher. Your acupuncturist is incorrect in this instance.xx

E2019
E2019 in reply to Cinderella5

Thank you xx

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