Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease named after the physician who discovered it. It affects the thyroid and is characterised by an altered hormone balance. Symptoms vary between individuals and are often confusing: some patients go through a period of hyperthyroidism in the early stages. But this can also remain unnoticed, or not occur, before chronic hypothyroidism develops.
Normal thyroid function is important for the proper course of pregnancy.
With all thyroid disorders, and thus for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the altered hormone balance is problematic for fertility. If a couple wishes to have a child, a normal hormone balance must be re-established at the thyroid and ovaries in order to enable an unproblematic pregnancy. An autoimmune thyroid disease also affects the male hormone balance. A reduction in male hormones like testosterone can both lead to hypothyroidism and additionally exacerbate the autoimmune disease.
If the thyroid hormones are returned to normal levels, the male hormones can also be normalised. In rare cases, there may be a lasting change in male hormone levels.
Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for the causes of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The most relevant symptomatic treatment approach is the substitution of thyroid hormones.