Can Hypothyroidism Affect Menstruation?

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a very common problem among women. Many women are aware of some of the symptoms, such as hair loss, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, depression, and a decrease in sex drive. What many do not realize is that there are other ways in which they can be affected by hypothyroidism. Can an underactive thyroid affect menstruation? Here are some of the things all women should know about the link between hypothyroidism and their periods.

 Can Hypothyroidism Affect Menstruation?

Does Hypothyroidism Affect Menstruation?

Hypothyroidism can have an effect on menstruation. According to the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, an underactive thyroid can cause irregular or heavy menstrual periods. As with other hypothyroidism symptoms, the severity of menstrual problems will depend on how much and for how long the thyroid has not been functioning properly. While some women may not notice any change in their menstrual periods, some may find that their periods are either very irregular or very heavy.


How Can Menstruation Be Controlled?

When an individual with hypothyroidism goes on medication, their symptoms are generally kept under control. The purpose of these medications is to ensure that the thyroid functions properly, which reduces the symptoms. Thus, people with hypothyroidism should be sure to take the medication that their physician prescribes to them. You can also stop your period once it starts. If you are not trying to become pregnant, it is also ideal to consider going on the birth control pill to regulate your menstrual periods.


Is Hypothyroidism the Only Cause of Menstrual Problems?

Irregular and heavy menstrual periods are not always caused by hypothyroidism. There are other gynecological conditions, such as endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can cause you to experience these symptoms. If you experience heavy or irregular menstrual periods, it’s important to talk to a gynecologist about it. Though the problems with your periods may be caused by an underactive thyroid, another condition may be blame – especially if the symptoms continue even after you have been regularly taking medication.


Ultimately, it is simply important to know that there is a potential link between hypothyroidism and irregular or heavy menstrual periods. Medication for an underactive thyroid is generally the best way to keep this problem under control, though it can be ideal to consider going on the birth control pill to regulate menstruation as well. If you continue to experience this symptom even after you begin taking thyroid medication, the best thing that you can do is talk to your doctor to see if a gynecological condition may be to blame.


The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, “Thyroid Disorders.”

A Quick Recap of My efforts at Self-improvement

I’ve got a long way to go, but here are the habits I’ve managed to form over the last six months:

  • Spaced repetition
  • Journalling (using 750words)
  • Waking up every morning at 6am
  • Lifting weights thrice a week
  • Ketogenic, gluten-free diet
  • Meditation
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Vitamin D in the morning, melatonin at night
  • Tracking macronutrients and calories
  • Having at least two meaningful conversations a day

Each of these could be its own blog post, but for now I’ll just point to the resources I used to decide on and pursue them.

I found Luke’s articles on Less Wrong (“How To Be Happy” and “How to Beat Procrastination”) to be immensely useful, along with Gwern’s record of relentless self-experimentation.

Alicorn’s posts on luminosity inspired me to become more self-aware, and Divia’s “walkthrough” helped me internalise practical ways of doing so.

I use HabitRPG and Beeminder to keep myself motivated.

The initial desire for improved health and fitness came from seeing countless tangible examples on the Something Awful forums.

The people in the Melbourne Less Wrong community have been awesome, and help keep me honest, enthused and on my toes.

I feel like I’m finally starting to build a solid foundation on which I can consistently, effectively do awesome things.