I have hypothiroidism and I am 7 weeks pregnant. My GP has not tested me or changed my dose. Can this have any effects on the baby?

As soon as I learnt about my pregnancy at 5 weeks I told my GP and raised my concern that my dose of levothiroxine should be raised. He mentioned that this would have to be checked by the midwives but they only gave me an appointment at 9 weeks. I believe this might be a bit late and I am worried this could affect my baby. Any advise would be appreciated because I am very worried.

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  • I agree. I think you need more help than your GP is giving you and I believe your Levo does need to be increased. Call your surgery tomorrow and insist on seeing someone who knows how to deal with pregnancy and hypo.

  • Thanks,I will call them tomorrow. I am dead worried it might be too late to do something and I cannot stop thinking I might have caused a damage to my baby for trusting this doctor...

  • ...I have read that it is the first three months that are important for you and your baby. I would follow the above advice and seek help/be tested as soon as you are able so you can relax and enjoy ....so don't be worried. At least you are aware and have a diagnosis - think of the thousands who do not have a diagnosis and are struggling. Also ensure you are tested again after having your baby to ensure you have adequate thyroid hormones to prevent the blues !

  • The baby will be helping himself/herself to your thyroid supplies so it's good that you are taking some levo. Do as the others say though and try to get it increased. It is believed that you may need 50% extra levo during pregnancy. Check these pages in GP Notebook and show them to your GP - this site is supposedly where doctors go for their own info:http://www.gpnotebook.com/simplepage.cfm?ID=1120927771

    You may find the "Pregnacny" questions in blue in the right hand panel are helpful too.

    Jane x

  • Yes, you must get your thyroid levels checked immediately by your GP practice.

  • According to the NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries (which - I believe - are the guidelines your doctor should be following) your doctor should have increased your dose as soon as you told him you are pregnant. For the guidelines he should be following read this page, and click on the various tabs on the left for more information :

    cks.nice.org.uk/hypothyroid...

    I don't know which of the tabs is relevant to you so just pick the one that fits.

  • My Levo went up by 25 in each trimester when I was pregnant both times. And I was under consultant care the whole pregnancy each time. I had my thyroid completely removed 11 years ago.

  • I would think they would want optimal readings during pregnancy. This functional medicine doctor talks about fertility in this one video in a series which endos sometimes do not understand.

  • I stayed on the same dose throughout my pregnancy, I didn't even think to question my dose with GP. Pregnancy went really smoothly, in fact apart from morning sickness I felt really good throughout. Had home birth at age of 41. I hope all goes well with you too, try not to worry too much, but of course get all the help & support you need.

  • Thanks a lot for all the replies. I have managed to speak to an endocrinologist today and I had a blood test done. I will know the results tomorrow but he also told me not to worry...I will definitely make sure I get tested throughout the pregnancy and get the right medical advice...probably not from the same GP. Thanks again!

  • Hello, I do not want to alarm you but a mother of a young daughter (in her 20's) who was pregnant wrote to Gena Nolan who is the host of the website and Facebook page called, "Thyroid Sexy" and Gena has been campaigning for years to get the medical community to wake up! (She was an actress on Baywatch and also had Hypothyroidism) now in this letter sent to Gena, her daughter and the unborn baby died from not being given more levothyroxine while she was pregnant! The mother, of this woman, who was obviously heartbroken, shared her story so others would know that some doctors have no idea to increase the dosage and how much!! Please check it out, as she and her daughter asked the doctors time and time again should the dosage be increased and they said no. Go to this Facebook page and just read all the info there, you will come across the letter Gena posted. Remember it is YOUR health and YOUR babies health which is most important, and get as much info as you can. If these docs don't do anything, go to another. Wishing you all the best and a safe and happy birth too for you and your baby! Here is the link: facebook.com/thyroidsexy

  • This is advice from Dr Toft: You can tell your GP it is from an Article in Pulse Online.

    10 And what about hypothyroidism in pregnant women?

    Untreated maternal hypothyroidism results in neuropsychological damage to the offspring. Patients with hypothyroidism who become pregnant need to have the dose of levothyroxine increased on average by 50µg daily in order to maintain normal serum TSH concentrations.

    The advice to patients with established hypothyroidism is that they should increase their dose of levothyroxine by 25µg daily as soon as pregnancy is confirmed and make an appointment for thyroid function tests to be measured some two weeks later. The aim is to achieve a free T4 concentration of 16-20pmol/l.

    Further measurement of serum free T4 and TSH should be made six weeks later and again in the middle of the second and third trimesters.

    The pre-pregnancy dose of levothyroxine can be restored four weeks after delivery by which time the increased concentrations of thyroxine binding globulin will have returned to normal. It’s not clear whether this meticulous care is necessary and it may well be that any thyroxine therapy in the hypothyroid mother will allow normal foetal development.

    Dr Tony Toft is consultant physician and endocrinologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and a former president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and of the British Thyroid Association

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