Many women suffering from menstrual irregularities don’t realize how much influence the thyroid gland has on hormones, thus causing menstrual irregularities. Both hypothyroidism (under-active) and hyperthyroidism (over-active) have been linked to menstrual irregularities. Fertility outcomes rely heavily on thyroid health as well.
Symptoms seen in patients with undiagnosed or improperly managed hypothyroidism are the following;
- Early onset of puberty, typically referred to as “precocious puberty” happening before the ago of 10.
- Excessively heavy or prolonged menstrual cycles.
- Shorter or longer average menstrual cycles.
- Extreme PMS symptoms that can at times be debilitating.
Symptoms seen in patients with hyperthyroidism or medication induced hyperthyroidism are the following;
- Delayed puberty, typically after the age of 15.
- Lighter and shorter menstrual cycles.
- Cycles that may skip one or several months and are not consistent in frequency.
- Complete absence of menstrual cycles not caused by menopause.
If you are experiencing menstrual irregularities it may be due to your thyroid not functioning at optimal levels. Due to fluctuations in thyroid hormone and frequency of testing some doctors either prescribe too little or too much thyroid medication for their patients. These fluctuations in medications can cause the thyroid to function at lower than optimal levels, thus impacting hormones.
If you have been diagnosed and currently being treated for a thyroid condition it is important to talk with your physician about optimal levels and managing your medications accordingly. Not every menstrual irregularity is caused by a thyroid condition, however, it is important that you discuss these connections with your physician.
Menstrual irregularities can be caused by many underlying health conditions, which is why it is best to seek medical evaluation from a qualified physician that understands both hormones and thyroid function to help uncover and correct these imbalances.
Dr. Erica Soria