Q&A: How Can I Expect My Hyperthyroid Condition to Affect My Pregnancy?

Can I take my hyperthyroid medication while I’m pregnant? What if I have Graves’ disease?
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ByAshley Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
Jan 2017
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Not only can you take your hyperthyroid meds, you should. Medicines like propylthiouracil or methimazole are not only safe to take during pregnancy, they also provide excellent control of the disease, reducing your risk of pregnancy complications.

But, it’s not just business as usual. You’ll need to see your health care provider for monthly blood tests to check your thyroid function. While you’re pregnant, it’s tough to tell if your thyroid is acting up or if the excessive sweating and vomiting are just from being pregnant. But a high heart rate (above 100 beats per minute) and weight loss are exclusive to mamas-to-be with hyperthyroidism.

And don’t worry: Just because you have hyperthyroidism doesn’t mean you’ll pass it on to baby. In fact, less than 2 percent of babies born to mamas with Graves’ disease suffer from hyperthyroidism themselves. Still, baby will need to be tested right after birth, just in case. Signs of hyperthyroidism in baby include an increased fetal heart rate, enlargement of the fetal thyroid gland and poor growth of the fetus.  

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