Melanie McGrice

Melanie McGrice

Did you know that your thyroid can be directly linked to your fertility? Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that is responsible for controlling, many bodily functions. This gland produces hormones that help to control your body’s metabolic processes, such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, temperature, growth and weight. It also regulates important hormones for fertility including FSH and LH, which if levels are disrupted can impact fertility.


Your hormones and fertility

The thyroid produces two important hormones necessary for fertility – FSH and LH. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone and works by stimulating the ovarian follicle which causes the egg to grow and LH stands for luteinizing hormone which works with FSH. Once FSH has stopped being produced LH is released and signals for the egg to be released form the ovary, this process is known as ovulation. Therefore with a reduction in the levels of these important hormones it can result in problems with egg supply and reduced fertility.


Types of thyroid conditions
  1. Underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition where your immune system detects your thyroid gland cells as dangerous, destroying them and preventing the production of hormones. Your thyroid releases small amounts of hormones into the bloodstream, impacting the regulation of your metabolism and causing it to slow down rapidly.  An underactive thyroid can affect the release of FSH and LH, which play an important role in controlling ovulation. It can also increase the levels of TSH which can cause disturbances to your menstrual cycle, impacting ovulation.

Symptoms you may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin


  1. Overactive thyroid – hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland produces and releases more thyroid hormones than needed into the bloodstream. This speeds up your metabolism, overworking your body and producing too much TSH. Again, TSH causes disturbances to your menstrual cycle ultimately affecting ovulation.

Symptoms you may experience:

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Rapid pulse, heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infrequent menstrual cycles
  • Diarrhoea


Around 1 in 20 people will experience some form of thyroid condition in their life, whether it is overactive or underactive. A simple blood test to check your thyroid hormones can help explain any symptoms you may be experiencing.


For a in-depth explanation on how your thyroid and thyroid conditions can affect your fertility, check out my ‘How thyroid problems can affect fertility’ video on my YouTube channel Nourish.


You may also like to read:

When to seek help with fertility?

How to Increase Natural Fertility?