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Published: Sept. 26, 2008
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
An enlarged thyroid may be an indicator of an underlying thyroid problem involving abnormal production of thyroid hormone. This can disrupt menstrual cycles and ovulation, thereby interfering with fertility.
Tests including thyroid exams, thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH), and thyroid imaging -- special x-rays with contrast or computed tomography (CT) scan -- are used in diagnosis.
TSH may uncover a thyroid abnormality that can have an impact on fertility. TSH is released from the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone.
An elevated level means the gland is not making enough hormone, which is the case in hypothyroidism. Low levels indicate problems with TSH production or increased thyroid hormone production (hyperthyroidism).
Additional tests may be necessary to determine the exact cause of the abnormality which can be much more complex than presented here.
Treatment may include medication or surgery depending on the cause of the symptoms and the severity of the condition.
Treatment of thyroid problems often allows the return of normal menstrual cycles and ovulation.
Learn about other potential diagnoses: