Thyroid UK
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Irregular periods & cysts as well as having hashimoto's

Hi, I was only tested for thyroid problems early last year due to irregular periods. I have the 10-year copper coil so knew I was not pregnant. I was referred also for an ultrasound where they found a small cyst & possible polyp. Following that my blood tests revealed I had autoimmune thyroiditis and a later ultrasound showed the cyst had gone & "the polyp may not be a polyp & could have just been blood around the coil." A few weeks back I had a sleepless night with severe stomach the worst period ever. Almost like contractions. No painkiller touched it. I got an appointment the next day with my GP & she felt my stomach & said there were 'no red flag markers' indicating there was no need for another ultrasound at this stage & prescribed me some strong tablets for the pain. She told me I could have a small cyst again and that some cysts are symptomatic (cause pain) or I could just be having a really painful period. Since that night I had the awful pain my period began nearly 2 weeks after. I have today started another period 3 weeks later after that one. I have also started to get painful & tender breasts at any time of the month. Up to last month I would just get this a few days before my period started.

I am 39 & wondering if these things could be signs of simple changes as I head in to menopause years. Or could i be suffering from polycystic ovaries?

Also, that period 2 weeks after the painful night was heavier than normal.

After starting levothyroxine last May my periods had returned to normal again & I am considered within normal range.

So cysts or menopause or something else?

Any help would be appreciated here as I am a born worrier :)

4 Replies

If you can get a print-out of your latest blood test results for your Thyroid hormones with the ranges and post on a new question for comments. I assume GP didn't increase levo as your results came in as 'normal'. Never take normal with regard to the thyroid hormones as normal is referring to the whereabouts of the TSH which is a pituitary hormone and that's what the doctors make their diagnosis upon instead of also taking into consideration clinical symptoms (which they don't know in the first place).

Female problems can be the result of too low thyroid hormones as can polycystic ovaries syndrome which can be rectified with proper optimum medication. Some links.

If you've not had a blood test for your thyroid recently ask for a new one and also for B12, Vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate as we are usually deficient.

When you get a blood test for thyroid hormones it should be as early as possible and you should not take levo until after it as it can skew results and it is a possibility they will reduce your meds which they shouldn't do. When you take levo after blood test and have eaten, you have to leave 2 hours each side of taking levo as food can interfere with the uptake.

Always get a print-out of your blood test results with the ranges for your own records and so that you can post if you have a query.


Thanks for your reply. Recently had bloods. Been on 100 mg of Levo since before Christmas. TSH is 2.2 so bang in the middle. At diagnosis I had all the B12, vitamin tests etc but all came back normal. I know that the ranges do change depending on the labs used but go with the general guide of between 0 - 5.

And on the whole I do feel much better then I did before I was diagnosed.

I suppose I just want to know if my current period problems and cysts could be down to the thyroid or a separate issue? Thanks :)


TSH being bang in the middle of the reference range is not that brilliant, although your doctor may think so. The distribution of TSH levels in the healthy population is highly skewed towards the lower end of the reference range, and the majority of healthy people cluster around 1.0 - 1.5 or thereabouts, although it is age-dependent to some extent.


When your GP increases your levo until you feel 'normal' health and not treat you according to the TSH level I think your periods etc should resolve, unless of course there is another reason for it. Most doctors only consider our complaints (clinical symptoms) as separate to our thyroid gland, and will tell you it's nothing to do with the thyroid gland. Most of us feel best when the TSH is 1 or below or suppressed (some of us only get better with a suppressed TSH). The doctors are mistaken if they insist we don't need more medication when we still have symptoms.

As humanbean says, a TSH of 2.2 is too high. Unless you feel really well get another blood test in 6 weeks - taking levo after it and not before,and have the earliest possible appointment. Most of us have found that some Endocrinologists and doctors don't understand metabolism (as that what thyroid hormones support and allow us to function normally).

This is part of an article by Dr Toft who was President of the British Thyroid Association:-

"6. What is the correct dose of thyroxine and is there any rationale for adding in tri-iodothyronine?

The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range – 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l. "

P.S - the range you quote above i.e. the general guide of between 0 - 5. is the range for people who don't have a problem with their thyroid gland, i.e. if it goes beyond 5 we are then diagnosed (if we are lucky) as hypothyroid. In the USA we are treated if the TSH reaches 3.


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