FAQ: Do my TSH levels affect fertility?

Question: I had my first child (a boy) about 5 year ago.  I became pregnant very easily (fertility was definitely NOT a problem) and the pregnancy was quite normal and everything went according to plan.

Four years later, my husband and I started trying to conceive again.  After trying for about a year, I finally went to my OB GYN.  She ordered some tests and everything came back pretty good, except for my TSH levels.  My TSH levels were a little over 7.0 (if I remember correctly).  Since my T3 and T4 levels are perfectly normal, my OB GYN doesn’t think that this is the cause of my infertility.

But, I have heard the normal range is below 2.0 (depending on who you ask it seems) and I am worried that this is affecting my fertility.  Do my high TSH levels affect fertility?

Answer: Personally, I believe that this is your smoking gun.  Your TSH levels should be anywhere from 1.0 mIU/L to 2.0 mIU/L.  Anything higher is an indicator of problems (and could be the cause of your fertility issues), even if your T3 and T4 numbers are within a normal range.

Our bodies are designed for self-preservation FIRST and reproduction SECOND.  The reason why so many people fail to conceive is because our bodies are not in the condition necessary to carry a child.  This is your case.  The good new, however, is that high TSH levels are easy to fix.

A recent study showed (I will post a reference to this when I find the article) that high TSH levels dramitically decrease the chances for conception, even when T4 and T4 levels were considered “normal”… and also showed that supplementing with synthetic thyroid hormones both decreased TSH and increased fertility.

My honest opinion?  Get a second opinion from a good Endocrinologist.  Your OB GYN might be the best at what she does, but she is probably no expert on the inner workings of the thyroid and the associated hormonal balance necessary for fertility.  Take care of yourself first and fertility will follow.

Good luck.

7 Responses to FAQ: Do my TSH levels affect fertility?

  1. Jaded

    Been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months now. This definitely sheds some light. I think my tsh is high but I have not been tested for this. Seem to have many of the symptoms though.

    • Dr. Dan

      It’s very good that you are now aware of the possiblity that your TSH levels could be affecting your fertility, but please do not jump to any conclusions. Get the facts by having a blood test performed. That is the first step. After you have the hard numbers, you can analyze and correct them appropriately.

  2. Aruna

    Hi , My TSH level is 119.3 mIU/mL . I heard that the normal range is between .26 and 4.1. I am very scared since my TSH level (Hypothyrodism) is very high. I am going to start medication on it. Please let me know if it will lower my change to get pregnant and after pregnancy, will it cause any birth defects. Please help me out.

  3. Cara B

    I have recently begun the TTC process and just had my cycle day 3 blood work done. My TSH levels were at 2.37 which isn’t that high but still above 2. When I had my vitamin D tested a few months ago it was 34. Should I be seeking help with my TSH through a type of synthetic hormone or will increasing my vitamin D levels fix the TSH levels. I was also diagnosed with a small pituitary tumor a year ago (I had high prolactin, was at 76) and have been on bromocriptine to reduce my levels (now at 9).

  4. Bristi

    I am 27 yrs old. My TSH level is 2.89. Will it effect on my fertility?

  5. Shweta

    I am 30 years old. I have recently got my TSH test done and my TSH is 6.64, and T3/T4 are normal. I do not have any symptoms like gain in weight and no dieting is done. Only one symptom that sometimes my eyes will be dry.
    Also, there is no irregularity in my menstural cycle, however the flow has reduced on 3rd day. I would like to know will it affect my fertility? would there be complications in pregnancy if I plan it at the age of 32?

  6. ayesha

    I had a fever 2 weeks back due to cold virus. I went to my doc n he gav me some blood tests to done,i did those one is of prolactin level n the other one was of tsh,my prolactin level was normal but my tsh was 17.7 I get worried doc advised me to repeat it after a week wid t3 n t4, I did it after a week n shocked to c dat my t3 n t4 r normal n my tsh decreases from 17 to 8.8,without any single medicine,n I hav a. Very low blood flow in my periods,moreover I had a dnc four mnths back,,can ny bdy help me shud I take ny medicine for hypothyroid or not thnxz