Hyperthyroidism and Pregnancy (cont.)
Hyperthyroid women who want to nurse their babies should be able to safely nurse on PTU and MMI medications. Although the older literature discouraged breastfeeding, newer studies indicated that it is safe since the concentration of drug that enters the breast milk is quite low. PTU is preferred since it has lower concentrations in breast milk.
In summary, hyperthyroid states can occur due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy and these cases are usually self-limited. In women who have underlying hyperthyroidism, in particular Graves' disease, uncontrolled disease may have detrimental effects on the pregnancy for both more and child. The best way to avoid the complications of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is to be sure the disease is controlled before conception occurs.
If you have hyperthyroidism and are considering a family in the near future, it may be worthwhile to discuss the options of surgery and radiation with your doctor while you are still in the stages of planning for a family. Remember that with pregnancy, there are really two patients - the mother and child. Close follow-up with your doctor before and during pregnancy can help assure the best possible outcome for the both of you.
Last Editorial Review: 10/10/2006