Located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid is a very important gland for the correct functionality of the organism, to the point of being compared to a real heating system subject to the control of a thermostat (the pituitary ). Not surprisingly, among the innumerable functions of thyroid hormones are:
increased basal metabolic rate : oxygen consumption and heat production are increased ;
increased protein synthesis;
stimulus on the synthesis and oxidation of lipids , with a prevalence of the latter;
increased glucose synthesis from glycogen and non-glucose substrates ( glycerol and glucogenic amino acids );
More generally, the thyroid and its hormones influence the activity of any organ and tissue. With regards to the reproductive system in particular, thyroid hormones are said to play a permissive role. For this reason, conditions characterized by a deficiency or excess of thyroid hormones are generally associated with a reduction in fertility, which in women translates into alterations of the menstrual cycle up to sterility .
In the presence of hypothyroidism, when the levels of thyroid hormones appear insufficient, the woman tends to present prolonged and abundant menstruation (menorrhagia) , with a shorter menstrual cycle. In untreated manifestly hypothyroid women, the disease often nips any possibility of pregnancy in the bud , which when established is however tendentially complicated by miscarriages, premature births and possible neurological deficits of the unborn child .
Even in the presence of hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis , therefore of an excessive level of natural or synthetic thyroid hormones , menstrual irregularities are quite common; this time, however, instead of being excessive and frequent, the menses tend to be modest and sporadic ( oligomenorrhea ). At the same time, there are fertility problems, as the number of menstrual cycles increases during which the egg is not released into the ovaries .
Being sensitive to the action of estrogens , in women of childbearing age the volume of the thyroid varies with the menstrual cycle, increasing during the first phase of the cycle.
Sometimes the reduction of fertility in women and the disturbances of the menstrual cycle are the first warning signs to light up in the presence of a thyroid malfunction .
You could suffer from hyperthyroidism if the menstrual cycle changes are accompanied by symptoms such as:
Increased heart rate , arrhythmias, palpitations , hypertension ;
Anxiety , nervousness, mental fatigue, shortness of breath and increased respiratory rate ;
Muscle weakness , hand tremors ;
Ophthalmopathy, bulging eyes (typical symptom of Basedow’s disease );
Development of a lump at the base of the neck ( goiter )
Accelerated intestinal transit, sometimes accompanied by diarrhea ;
Menstrual abnormalities (reduced or no flow), decreased fertility and sexual desire;
Behavioral disorders and learning disabilities in children .
You may suffer from hypothyroidism if your menstrual cycle is accompanied by symptoms such as:
Cold skin and intolerance to low temperatures ;
Increased body weight , physical fatigue and weakness;
Drowsiness ( lethargy ), depression ;
Reduction in heart rate;
Constipation , swelling of the face ;
Development of a lump at the base of the neck (goiter)
Menstrual abnormalities ( heavy menstrual flows );