The Impact of Hypothyroidism on the Menstrual Cycle

The Impact of Hypothyroidism on the Menstrual Cycle

The thyroid is a gland in our body that is essential to maintaining the balance of a number of key hormones that regulate and govern our biological processes. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland’s activity is abnormally low. If the right balance of hormones is not present, it can have serious health ramifications.

For women, hypothyroidism can dramatically affect the menstrual cycle. The thyroid is key to estrogen and progesterone levels. When these hormones and their levels are not maintained throughout the body, a woman can see her periods change radically; becoming excessively long or the menstrual cycle itself shortening to as little as three weeks. Periods can also become quite heavy, come with pain, or even start at an earlier age than they would have if the thyroid’s activity was in the normal range.

Other problems that can arise include issues with whether or not the eggs your ovaries release, should you be attempting to conceive, will be able to successfully implant in your uterus. Your ovaries can even suffer from reduced or suppressed ovulation. And other health issues, such as how hypothyroidism can reduce your metabolic energy, can affect your ovulation as well.

Your doctor can talk with you about symptoms you may be experiencing, and help you determine whether or not you should be tested for thyroid function.

Key Points:

  • 1Hypothyroidism may be implicated in menstrual problems including frequent, heavy, long, or short periods.
  • 2Symptoms of hypothyroidism include anxiety, depression, fatigue, weakness, and unexplained weight gain.
  • 3Lab testing for hypothyroidism includes Reverse T3, Free T3, Free T4, TSH, and thyroid antibodies.


Hypothyroidism is a common, undetected factor for menst