Birth Control Pills and Thyroid Disease

One of the most common and uncomplicated measures of birth control are the birth control pills. A birth control pill or combined oral contraceptive pill is a combination of progestin and estrogen, both of which are female sex hormones. Regular intake of birth control pills inhibit fertility of women. Apart from the combination pills, these pills are also available with only progestin; which are called mini pills. Similar to many other medications, that are prescribed for several health conditions and diseases, birth control pills also have higher chances of drug interactions. One of the common problems which is inquired about by women is about the effects of birth control pills on the thyroid glands.

How Does the Birth Control Pill Affect Your Thyroid Glands

The Pills
Before we move ahead, one needs to learn about female reproductive system and the functioning of birth control pills. When female gamete starts to mature, the cells around it start to produce estrogen, which is an important female sex hormone. These increasing levels of estrogen work as an indication for pituitary glands, that then release high level of luteinising hormone. This hormone alerts the ovaries to release the egg, which then starts its journey towards fertilization and pregnancy. The reason to bring forward this process of reproduction, is to clearly state the working mechanism of pills. The job of the birth control pills is to slow down or stop the process of ovulation, which is the root cause of pregnancy. In other words, formulation of pills avert chances of production of female gametes which cause fertilization.

Do They Affect
As I explained in the introduction, there are two types of birth control pills. One type of pills are combination pills and the second type of pills are the mini pills that contain only progestin. These pills not only avoid maturation of eggs, but they also act as a thick barrier for sperms. There are two things that might help us to explain the exact connection between birth control pills and thyroid disease. First of all, birth control pills change and control hormones of a female body and hence, the entire body system needs to adapt to such change. Secondly, pills are taken on a daily basis and hence, there is an increased possibility of side effects of the pills. There are quite a few theories which try to claim and deny the connection between birth control pills and thyroid problem.

Thyroid Efficiency
According to one claim, the experts suggest that the thyroid hormone is extremely sensitive when it comes to increased levels of other hormones, except thyroid stimulating hormones. Many times, it is also observed that mini pills or estrogen in birth control pills causes reduction in the efficiency of thyroid hormones and thyroid glands. As a result, a woman’s body starts to secrete more thyroid hormone. It is also the reason why women thyroid levels are higher than those of men. This is also a possible reason behind several thyroid diseases like hyperthyroidism and less active or inactive thyroid glands. As a solution to this problem, women who are on pills are also prescribed with thyroid supplements that balance out estrogen and thyroid levels.

Thyroid Replacement
One can also trace connection between thyroid glands and birth control pills, in case of the women who are prescribed thyroid replacement supplements. Hence, women who are popping the replacement pills should also consume dietary supplements that are prescribed for increasing thyroid levels. This becomes necessary if those women are popping pills. This will not only manage the thyroid levels but also the higher levels of estrogen. As a result, the possibility of thyroid diseases can be negated, if any. Similar to pills, human growth hormone or HGH supplements also partially block thyroid hormones. However, HGH also helps thyroid glands in the process of growth and development.

After Stopping The Pill
Yet another thing that confuses women is the fact that many women are diagnosed with thyroid disease after they stop taking pills. Hence, they want to know whether they will also fall for similar diagnoses. It is important to understand here that the chances of such things are equal and hence, it is pretty hard to judge. Some women return to normal life after stopping the pills, some women take time to adapt the pill-free lifestyle. While quite a few of them suffer with such diseases and health conditions. Hence, when in doubt, one needs to clear them away with the help of proper tests and consultation with the health care provider.

The Conclusion
Last and most important point to remember is that pills do affect the thyroid glands to a certain extent. Whether they cause any kind of thyroid diseases is not yet proven, but they do affect test results of thyroid hormone. This happens when a woman is popping both birth control and thyroid pills together. As a result, experts advice women to inform the doctor about such things, prior to performing any hormonal tests. Chances of such occurrences and interaction are extremely rare and mostly in case of women who have some pre-existent thyroid diseases.

However, as a parting note, all that I can say is that one should not deny the connection between birth control pills and thyroid disease and so, women should consult their health care provider prior to opting for this mode of contraception!