PTU During Pregnancy

Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, greatly speeding up the body’s metabolism. This problem is often seen during pregnancy, especially in younger women. Women may sometimes ignore the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, because they may often seem like a part of pregnancy—fast heartbeats, warmness, sleeping trouble, nervousness and anxiety, nausea, and weight loss.

It is very important that hyperthyroidism in pregnant women be controlled, because it raises the risks of a miscarriage or birth defects. A thyroid blood test can rule out or confirm this condition in women with infertility or repeated miscarriages.


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Fortunately, to ensure that mother and baby remain healthy, effective treatments are available to treat hyperthyroidism in pregnant women.

Treatment for Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy

Anti-thyroid medication can be used to slow down an overactive thyroid gland, and decrease the amount of the hormone in the system. In fact, if they are taken in a proper way, these medicines can control the problem within just a few weeks. Because the health of the baby and its ability to handle drugs given to the mother is also a factor, it is important that a specialist doctor prescribe medicines that will not have side effects for either mother or baby.

For pregnant women, most experts consider propylthiouracil, or PTU, to be the best choice. In most cases, this medicine is perfectly safe for the baby as well, since it does not cross the placenta. Even so, it should always be taken under a doctor’s supervision. It is possible that PTU may affect the baby’s thyroid gland, so pregnant women should always be closely monitored with constant examinations and blood tests.

Depending on these, the dose of PTU can be adjusted.

In some cases, the patient is unable to take PTU due to an allergy or side effect. In this case, the doctor may suggest removal of the thyroid gland before or even during pregnancy. Radioactive Iodine, while an effect treatment for hyperthyroidism, should never be given to pregnant women as it has a high risk of damaging the baby’s thyroid gland, because it crosses the placenta and enters the baby’s system.

If the mother knows about her condition of hyperthyroidism before, it is always advisable to treat it before the pregnancy. Since anti-thyroid medicines are not always effective, and work only as long as they are being taken, other measures may have to be taken to cure the problem for good. These measures include treatment with radioactive iodine or with surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

PTU During Pregnancy
PTU During Pregnancy
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