Thyroid UK
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Hyperthyroid, trying to conceive aged 42

My story: after 10 years of being told I would have to live with chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives) with no apparent cause a new GP referred me to an allergy specialist who did a whole raft of blood tests including thyroid function (not expecting it to reveal anything but just in case). That rest showed thyroid antibodies so a further test was run showing my TSH is very low (<0.05) and my T3 and T4 are high (10.1 and 31.3 respectively). Thing is, I've just turned 42 and have been trying to conceive since June. My GP has advised I stop trying for now and has kindly referred me to the endocrinologist instead of waiting 4-6 months before testing again. I'm fairly asymptomatic apart from the urticaria (sometimes I have a strong appetite but not all the time, from time to time my heart flutters, I need to clear my throat a lot at the moment, I can be rather irritable and intolerant, I need a lot of sleep, get overwhelmed very easily, get very hot when I first go to bed - ok, so quite a few symptoms but from what I'm reading they're not necessarily the obvious ones).

Anyway, my fear is that treatment will take so long that I will run out of time to conceive.

So I guess I'm asking for any advice to help myself while waiting to see the endocrinologist (I checked my prenatal vitamins and they have iodine in them so I've stopped taking them), and any information about exactly what the issue is with pregnancy/fertility and hyperthyroidism and its treatment.... I'l be grateful for any insight, information or advice, Thank you

3 Replies

I cannot answer your question but this link may give you some info. Some of the links within may not be accessible.

This is an excerpt from Dr Toft, ex President of the British Thyroid Association which may give you some info:-

8 Should all pregnant woman with hyperthyroidism receive specialist endocrinology management?

In Graves’ disease the TSH-receptor antibody responsible for the hyperthyroidism crosses the placenta and, if the mother is hyperthyroid, the foetus is too. Good control of maternal thyroid function is therefore important as it will be mirrored in the foetus throughout pregnancy.

All pregnant patients with hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease should be managed in a specialist clinic and reviewed every four to six weeks.6

Autoimmune disease tends to improve during pregnancy, so the dose of antithyroid drug needed to maintain a normal serum TSH concentration is usually in the order of 5-10mg of carbimazole daily or 50-100mg of propylthiouracil daily.

It’s customary to stop the antithyroid drug some four weeks before the expected date of delivery – when brain growth is at a maximum – to avoid any possibility of foetal hypothyroidism. It’s unusual for hyperthyroidism to recur before three months post-partum.

It’s important to distinguish between recurrent Graves’ disease for which treatment is necessary and post-partum thyroiditis in which the hyperthyroidism is short-lived followed by an equally transient episode of hypothyroidism, then recovery.

In Graves’ disease the TSH-receptor antibody is detected in serum and isotope uptake by the thyroid is normal or increased. But in post-partum thyroiditis the TSH-receptor antibody is usually absent and the isotope uptake by the thyroid gland negligible.


Hi I am hyper and had my last child at 40 just over 3 years ago.

I was undiagnosed until May 2011 but had symptoms since 2006. I had a child in 2008 and one in 2009.

I had had miscarriages previously which I am told is a common problem and also preeclampsia with each of my 3 children which is also common. This led to all 3 being born early. It also left me with blood pressure issues.

However saying that if you want children and you are 42 you dont have time to waste so do what you want and not what the GPs want you to do. Good luck.


This may have been just a coincidence but I was taking propylthiouracil when I became pregnant with my second child. They took me off it after doing tests as I guess my condition had resolved.


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