Endocrine Disorders In Pregnancy

We’ll address your symptoms, concerns and preferences for you and your baby before, during and after pregnancy

Your body normally undergoes rapid changes during pregnancy for the development of your child. However, hormonal imbalances can indicate endocrine problems that can occur during pregnancy as part of a preexisting or new condition.

At Indiana University Health Diabetes & Endocrinology, we deliver comprehensive care to address your specific symptoms, concerns and preferences to keep you and your baby healthy.

Some examples of endocrine problems during pregnancy include:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes

Thyroid hormones play a role in metabolism, breathing, heart function and many other processes. A healthy pregnancy and healthy brain development for your baby necessitate proper levels of these hormones.

Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism

Overproduction of thyroid hormones, known as hyperthyroidism, can cause complications in pregnancy including miscarriage, preterm birth and preeclampsia. The opposite occurs in hypothyroidism, when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism can also cause problems including preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be harmful to the health of developing babies.

Diabetes

Uncontrolled Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia and birth defects. Gestational diabetes results in elevated blood sugar that begins in pregnancy and ends after delivery. It can cause complications such early delivery or excessive birth weight.

Overview

Some examples of endocrine problems during pregnancy include:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes

Thyroid hormones play a role in metabolism, breathing, heart function and many other processes. A healthy pregnancy and healthy brain development for your baby necessitate proper levels of these hormones.

Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism

Overproduction of thyroid hormones, known as hyperthyroidism, can cause complications in pregnancy including miscarriage, preterm birth and preeclampsia. The opposite occurs in hypothyroidism, when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism can also cause problems including preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be harmful to the health of developing babies.

Diabetes

Uncontrolled Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia and birth defects. Gestational diabetes results in elevated blood sugar that begins in pregnancy and ends after delivery. It can cause complications such early delivery or excessive birth weight.

Treating endocrine disorders during pregnancy requires highly specialized knowledge and experience. Through our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine , we maintain access to the latest knowledge and tools for managing all types of endocrine conditions.

If you have diabetes, your treatment team will usually recommend insulin or other therapies. Treatment options include:

  • Diabetes education. If you have diabetes, our experts provide intensive monitoring and treatment during pregnancy to develop a customized plan to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range with therapies that are safe for you and your baby.
  • Insulin. Standard treatment for diabetes during pregnancy includes insulin injections. This therapy helps control blood sugar levels if your diet and exercise do not help. You typically give yourself shots using a syringe. You may need one to four injections per day, and you may need more than one type of insulin. Some women take insulin using an insulin pump. If you have gestational diabetes, you probably will not need insulin once you give birth.
  • Oral diabetes medicines. Glyburide and metformin taken in tablet form may help you control blood sugar if you have diabetes during pregnancy. However, research must still determine their effectiveness and safety for pregnant women.

If you have thyroid disease, medicine may keep your thyroid levels healthy for you and your baby. Rarely, pregnant women need surgery during pregnancy. Physicians do not consider radiation treatment safe during pregnancy. Treatment options include:

  • Antithyroid medicines. These medicines treat hyperthyroidism to reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Options include methimazole and propylthiouracil. Depending on your dose, you may take these medicines from one to three times a day. Propylthiouracil can help in the first trimester of pregnancy because physicians consider it safer than methimazole during that period. You use the lowest possible doses of these medicines to avoid affecting your baby’s thyroid function.
  • Thyroid hormone. This treatment helps hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine mimics the natural thyroid hormone thyroxine. Physicians consider it safe for treating hypothyroidism during pregnancy. You generally take this medicine as a tablet once daily on an empty stomach.

Treatment

Treating endocrine disorders during pregnancy requires highly specialized knowledge and experience. Through our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine , we maintain access to the latest knowledge and tools for managing all types of endocrine conditions.

If you have diabetes, your treatment team will usually recommend insulin or other therapies. Treatment options include:

  • Diabetes education. If you have diabetes, our experts provide intensive monitoring and treatment during pregnancy to develop a customized plan to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range with therapies that are safe for you and your baby.
  • Insulin. Standard treatment for diabetes during pregnancy includes insulin injections. This therapy helps control blood sugar levels if your diet and exercise do not help. You typically give yourself shots using a syringe. You may need one to four injections per day, and you may need more than one type of insulin. Some women take insulin using an insulin pump. If you have gestational diabetes, you probably will not need insulin once you give birth.
  • Oral diabetes medicines. Glyburide and metformin taken in tablet form may help you control blood sugar if you have diabetes during pregnancy. However, research must still determine their effectiveness and safety for pregnant women.

If you have thyroid disease, medicine may keep your thyroid levels healthy for you and your baby. Rarely, pregnant women need surgery during pregnancy. Physicians do not consider radiation treatment safe during pregnancy. Treatment options include:

  • Antithyroid medicines. These medicines treat hyperthyroidism to reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Options include methimazole and propylthiouracil. Depending on your dose, you may take these medicines from one to three times a day. Propylthiouracil can help in the first trimester of pregnancy because physicians consider it safer than methimazole during that period. You use the lowest possible doses of these medicines to avoid affecting your baby’s thyroid function.
  • Thyroid hormone. This treatment helps hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine mimics the natural thyroid hormone thyroxine. Physicians consider it safe for treating hypothyroidism during pregnancy. You generally take this medicine as a tablet once daily on an empty stomach.

Patient Stories for Endocrine Disorders In Pregnancy

Women with endocrine disorders in pregnancy can get information and support from the following external websites including:

Resources

Women with endocrine disorders in pregnancy can get information and support from the following external websites including: