TSH up and down, trying for a baby! Please help!

Hi everyone

My husband and I have been trying for a baby for nearly 2 years and we recently moved to Germany. I went to the doctor thinking I might be pregnant...turns out not. As a result of our chat he gave me some blood tests to check my hormone levels and my husband was sent for semen tests.

My hormone levels showed a TSH of 3.2 and all other hormones were in range except for progesterone on day 21 which showed I had not ovulated. The doctor put me on clomid to help me ovulate and ordered another TSH and T3/T4 tests as he wanted my TSH lower.

Anyway, at the time of the next TSH test I also had to have a creatinine test elsewhere for a different problem (I have ever been to doctors so much!). In the morning at 7 am I had the creatinine test and at 4.30 I had the TSH test. The creatinine test also came with a TSH level which was 5.07 and the actual TSH in the afternoon came up as 0.9! What is going on?

Anyway I took this to the gyno doctor at which point he was shocked and just prescribed me Thyroxin and said come back in 8 weeks to check TSH levels. No explanation. But as I am in Germany the doctors do not speak the best English and I am just confused right now! I have been taking many vitamins for the past 3 months to sort out any deficiencies. Should I ask for an antibody check?

Just as background info, I am always fatigued but put this down to my work. I have had bouts of insomnia since I can remember (about 11?) and I am now 28. My hair started to thin the past 12 months or so and my periods became irregular and heavy.

Since starting the thyroxin I have felt better-more energy, hair thickening slightly (might be in my head), I have lost weight but I am starting to feel dizzy.

Any info on any of the topics I have mentioned will be soooo helpful!!

33 Replies

  • There is a circadian rhythm to the production of TSH.


    Look at the graphs on page 2 of the above research paper.

    I know that the difference between highest and lowest levels of TSH during a period of 24 hours varies from person to person. You obviously have very large variability between low and high levels.

  • Thanks for this. I have been trying to look for info on this for ages on Google. Luckily I teach Maths so I understood the paper! From what I could gather the lowest values were above 1 and the highest below 4 so yes, it shows my range is much greater than those tested. Should I be concerned I have Hashi's? Having read lots of posts over the last few weeks it seems levels fluctuate greatly in those with Hashi's-should I ask for an antibody test next time?

  • Get your iron and ferritin levels measured. Low iron levels can cause dreadful fatigue.

    Also, for reasons I don't understand and haven't researched, there is some kind of feedback between blood loss during a period and iron levels. Many women with heavy periods have low iron which is no surprise, but improving iron levels reduces period blood loss which is a surprise - to me anyway.

  • I hope my iron levels are within range as I take supplements for this but also eat a lot of spinach and kale too. I also take calcium, vit D, magnesium, B vits and folic acid as well as biotin supplements-at least 100% of each per day. I don't know, but can I ask for a full test of my vitamin levels? This doctor seems to think "throw a load of drugs at her that'll help".

  • There is a homeopathic preparation ''Thyroidinum '' . Get in 30 potency and use it for 4 weeks , two pills per week .

  • Do you have your ferritin result? Levels under 70 can cause hair loss as well as fatigue.

  • I think a full test would be very expensive and most doctors would refuse. It would be far easier to persuade a doctor to do the tests that are most needed.

    For someone with a thyroid problem the ones to start with are vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate, ferritin and iron. Although even with that list, many doctors won't test both ferritin (iron stores) and iron, they will only do ferritin.

    Once you have been tested ask for a copy of the blood test results including reference ranges then post the results in a new post here and ask for feedback. Don't just accept the doctor's opinion if they say the results are "normal".

  • I will ask for a ferritin and antibody test next time I go to get my TSH levels tested. I hope he should do this they are quite good in Germany as you pay for healthcare.

    I will post results when I get them in around 7 weeks.

  • Hi my haired thinned it was awfull but after taking thyroxine my hair started to grow back it was weird and took a while for new hair to grow to the same length but I was so greatful for the thyroxine.

  • I am glad to hear your hair came back! I have read lots of stories of more falling out after you start taking Thyroxin which worried me more! I do feel less tired and I feel awake after a full night's sleep whereas before I felt awful.

  • Look at your diet. Cut out gluten and also dairy. I get dizzy bouts too but stopping gluten and dairy seemed to have stopped the dizziness. Just a thought.

  • Hi and thanks for your input! I don't eat dairy products anyway..never have since I was a child. I have been tested for a gluten allergy/sensitivity in the past (6 years ago) and it came back negative so I don't think this would apply? Could it change?

  • My progesterone was low day 21 and I was told I had not ovulated. This happened on 2 occasions and on both I was actually pregnant. So I am wondering if you have yet had a period and whether low progesterone day 21 is a thyroid thing. Did you have a positive pregnancy test result with a urine sample,they are rarely if ever wrong when used correctly.

  • Ok I did have a period but it was 3 weeks after the day 21 progesterone test. I think maybe my thyroid levels have disrupted my cycles so I didn't ovulate that day.

  • you most likely have Hashimotos which is inherited and auto immune

    please think very very seriously before you transfer auto immune vulnerbility to a child

  • 1st of all I have not been told it is an auto immune disease, 2nd of all what would have happened if, during the first 18 months of trying I had been pregnant and finally, is it not just an increased risk to the baby not a guarantee? I cannot believe you would imply I hadn't thought my life through enough which is exactly how that comment came across. I have read your posts and I am sorry your husband feels responsible for passing on the disease to your daughter and grand-daughters I truly am. However, suggesting any person should not have a child due to the possibility of passing a gene to their child is preposterous. It is like saying people with other non life threatening disabilities or low IQ's shouldn't procreate! I am disappointed my first post on here received such a reply.

  • my husband has somehow inherited auto immune thyroid fisease from a mother who had severe endometriosis

    i have no inherited conditions yet our younger daughter now has 5 auto immune conditions and is in incredible pain every day

    her children now each have 2 auto immune conditions

    If i had known that would happen no matter how hard it was i would not have had children

  • I am sorry you feel that way I truly am. I have had a fantastic life and the fatigue was not unbearable. I don't have pain and have never found it impacted my life. Your daughter must have known about the 5 auto immune diseases she had before she had children.

    Are you from the UK? Does your daughter live a normal life or is she always in pain-in other words what is her quality of life?

    I appreciate your input based on your experiences but I do not see life the way you do.

  • NO ...our daughter only developed 5 auto immune diseases after having 4 children

    she is in pain 24/7 and will not even be able to work now because the latest one is a ticking timebomb that explodes in agony affecting her sight ...quite how she will cope financially heaven knows because she has been self employed

  • cg4uk1 it isn't as simple as chalking everything up to inherited genetic material. Vulnerability to autoimmune issues doesn't mean you will develop them, it just means you may be at higher risk for those specific things. Your partner is surely at higher risk for other problems. This is why we reproduce the way we do; variety in genetic material is crucial.

    I chose not to have children for my own reasons (nothing to do with illness), but if I'd been considering physical issues Hashi's would have been at the bottom of the list. Do what you need to do.

  • Cg4uk1 my younger sister and I both have autoimmune thyroid disease, started in our early teens, between us we have 6 children and non of them have any autoimmune problems, even if they had we would never regret having them. Please take no notice of the insensitive reply from the above poster.

    I hope you hear the patter of tiny feet soon, enjoy every minute 😀

  • I think before you think to have a child if you have inherited desease you need to consider whether your own life has been worth living and most people however difficult their circumstances are grateful to have been given an oppertunity to live and when it comes down to it whether you enjoy life or not has a lot more to do with attitude than what life throws at you. So I am saying go for it cg4uk1, having children is a great experiance and having a life is a great experiance for any children you might have and if they dont have problems they wont be human, we all have challenges whether they be autoimmune or what ever. I am cross that someone would try to make you feel guilty about making such a positive choice.

  • Don't rely on TSH. The hair thinning and other symptoms sound like they could be hypothyroid. You should have the full panel TSH/FT3/FT4/rT3/TPOAb/TGAb. Those last two tests are for Hashi's, that is very important. The key parts of treatment are (1) finding out what is causing Hashi's and getting rid of it (yes it is sometimes caused by allergens and pollutants), and (2) pushing your FT3 at least 50% up in its range.

    You want to avoid miscarriage and/or disabilities in your baby, both of which can be caused by low thyroid. Suggest you take a look at thyroidpregnancybook.com, and make sure you are euthyroid before conception.

  • Yes, I am not planning to start the Clomid until my levels are stable as I don't want any unnecessary risks. I will ask for the full panel next visit I doubt he will say no.

  • If and when you do get pregnant, you will probably find TSH levels rise, you need to make sure that levels stay below 2 (preferably below 1) to avoid the possibility of miscarriage.

  • Hiya got to ask you said it started around age 11 y/n, if so did you bang your head not long before it started? If so it may have effected your HPA Axis (HPA = hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal,) I suspect this when there's multiple hormones involved that inc estrogen and progesterone. A bump on the head could have started what's known as hypopituitary.

  • Hi, the insomnia started around 11 but I never banged my head. I didn't have other symptoms til I got older. Also I recently had a brain mri which showed nothing. I read somewhere glandular fever can bring on hypo- I had that when I was 18.

  • Are some of your hormones low even in range IE estrogen, and progesterone might be higher in the range? Being in range is not good enough, in range can be wearing a size 4 shoe on a size 6 foot, with the manufacturers range of 3-8 point is your feet will feel crap, or low estrogen may prevent you getting pregnant, low progesterone might lead to a miscarriage. There are other reasons for getting or not getting pregnant same as anything. Yet the underlying problem could be adrenal fatigue, creating what's known as the "pregnenalone steal" here's a link with a graph 3/4 the way down that shows what I'm on about

    Hope it helps, oh the article may help too...


  • Hi I will take a look thanks. On day 3 when I had my hormome analysis everything was in range so LH FSH estrogen and progesterone etc. I checked against the WHO scales. On day 21 though my progesterone was way too low 0.12!which is low even if I hadn't ovulated.

  • You need to get them sorted out then, your entitled to a free printout from your doctors with the results and ranges included, which may be a good idea as different labs can use different units of measure and ranges. IE one lab could use pmol and another uses ng/l

    Estrogen and progesterone are also needed for bone renewal process. As estrogen initiates old bone removal, and progesterone initiates rebuilding of new bone, if the nutrients are on board like making a cake. This is a big part of why more women suffer osteoporosis after menopause...

  • Oh for progesterone ideally you need a natural progesterone cream, massage in the thin parts of the skin, like where they take your blood from, behind the knees and on the neck near the carotid arteries this way it's easier for the blood stream to pick it up... Foods to help is dark chocolate and yams...

  • Hi,

    From your post it would appear that you may have an underactive thyroid plus a problem with your pituatory gland producing too much progesterone.

    The pituatory gland produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which tells your Thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. When you're TSH is above the range it indicatets that you have an underactive thyroid because the Pituatory gland produces more and more TSH to kick start the Thyroid gland into working. Also, there is a condition called Hashimoto's which produces the same results and is another form of underactive Thyroid condition.

    It would appeat that your Pituatory gland is producing too much progesterone stopping ovulation and mimicking a false pregnancy. Have a look online at the Pituatory Foundation website for further information. There's alot about pituatory tumours something that is forefront on my mind because my daughter has recently been told that she has one. She's awaiting further tests and an appointment at the hospital but, don't let this put you off looking.

    Good luck.

    TT x

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