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Dr. Rama Vaidya
Research Director in Reproductive Medicine
Thyroid Diseases and Pregnancy

Thyroid diseases constitute a common substratum during pregnancy. Low thyroid function (Hypothyroidism) can lead to diverse problems viz. miscarriages, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, still births, premature delivery, postpartum hemorhage,anemia etc. Besides these pregnancy related complications, low thyroid function in mothers can adversely influence the foetal growth (low birth weight) and the brain development. Babies born to hypothyroid mothers have low IQ (Mental Retardation). It is thus very important to diagnose hypothyroidism very early during pregnancy. Similarly for mother and baby’s health, it is also important to diagnose excessive function of the thyroid gland (Hyperthyroidism). If the thyroid diseases are detected and treated in early pregnancy, many complications for mother’s health and baby’s growth and development are averted.

We at Brahma kumaris Global Hospital (BK) have undertaken a study for early detection of thyroid diseases in the first trimester of pregnancy. A single blood sample is taken from mothers in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy for thyroid functions. These tests are known as serum Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Tyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). Auto- antibodies to thyroid are also implicated in thyroid diseases and hence tests for thyroid antibodies are planned for the study. In past when such sophisticated specific and sensitive thyroid hormone estimations were not available, women with mild to moderate thyroid dsfunction have suffered in silence.

This multicentric study is planned and supervised by Dr. Rama Ashok Vaidya (MD, Ph.D), our research director in reproductive medicine at Brahma kumaris Global Hospital. Thyroid disorders are emerging in epidemic proportions in India. It is said that there are approximately 60 million Indians suffering from thyroid disorders. Women bear a larger brunt of the disease. There is an urgent need to screen women with reproductive dsfunctions, infertility and also menopausal women for thyroid functions.

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