Hypothyroidism and Infertility

There’s a very clear link between hypothyroidism and infertility but it’s something that is not widely discussed for various reasons. Unfortunately, because it’s not widely discussed, infertility continues to rise and is becoming a much bigger and more expensive problem.

Infertility is one of the many hypothyroidism symptoms and largely a hormonal issue that can, more often than not, be corrected by overcoming hypothyroidism and the other associated hormonal imbalances. But instead of taking this common sense approach, we tend to try to force fertility to occur in a less fertile environment through in vitro fertilization and implantation. But no one stops to consider the long term health implications that this can have on the fetus.

This important link between hypothyroidism and infertility is oftentimes missed and many doctors claim that with many cases it’s impossible to fully restore fertility.

However, I would argue that this assumption based on evidence of many completely infertile post menopausal women who have successful become pregnant and given birth to healthy babies. There have been reports of some of these women being upwards of 60 and even 70+ years of age.

If a woman who has been post menopausal and has not ovulated for years can become fertile again, then I believe that a lot can be done for much younger women who have been given no hope.

The Link between Hypothyroidism and Infertility

As I mentioned above, infertility is largely a hormonal issue. But most people fail to realize that there are many factors that they have complete control over that affect their hormones for both the good and the bad.

When it comes to hypothyroidism and infertility, the two primary hormones to consider are estrogen and progesterone.

Most people understand that they need adequate progesterone, the pro-gestational hormone, in order to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Progesterone increases drastically upon conception and continues to rise throughout pregnancy. And this is because of the protective effect that progesterone has on both the mother and fetus.

But few people realize the implication of estrogen on both hypothyroidism and infertility. Estrogen is actually a hormone that does not support fertility even though the medical community argued that it did for many years.

Just look at how birth control pills work.

hypothyroidism and infertilityBirth control pills contain small doses of estrogen that increase your body’s estrogen levels up through the time of ovulation. And the increase in estrogen causes the cells of your uterus to consume more oxygen. And when your uterus consumes more oxygen, it literally steals the oxygen that is required to support the implanted egg, or embryo. Without enough oxygen, the egg cannot continue to develop.

And hypothyroidism and infertility go hand in hand because one of the main effects of hypothyroidism is the increase of estrogen within your body.

The two effectively feed off of each other. One of the many negative effects of estrogen is that it suppresses the release of thyroid hormones from your thyroid gland which in itself can cause hypothyroidism. And when you become hypothyroid, your liver becomes unable to properly inactivate and detoxify estrogen, so estrogen continues to build up in your system. And this increase in estrogen feeds back to further suppresses your thyroid.

This feedback mechanism quickly spirals out of control and hypothyroidism and infertility will persist until your hormones can be properly balanced again.

Common Causes of Hypothyroidism and Infertility

Excess Estrogen (Estrogen Dominance)

I’ve already discussed the connection between hypothyroidism and infertility above so I don’t think it needs repeating. However, it’s important to understand that any mechanism that leads to hypothyroidism will have the same effect of raising estrogen levels, regardless of whether or not estrogen played a factor in causing your hypothyroidism to begin with.

Estrogen can also come from outside sources.

One which I have already mentioned above is birth control pills. Oftentimes, it can take months after getting off of birth control pills before you can successfully conceive. And this depends entirely on how long it takes your body to inactivate and detoxify all of the estrogen that has built up.

For many women with liver dysfunction, they may not be able to conceive even after getting off of birth control until their liver issues are resolved.

hypothyroidism and infertilityAnother common and significant source of estrogen is from estrogenic chemicals such as xenoestrogens which are prevalent in plastics, pesticides, and many other industrial chemicals.

And lastly, there are even certain foods that are estrogenic by nature. Soy, which is often touted as a “health food” is very estrogenic and oftentimes wrongly recommended to women to help improve fertility when it is actually having the opposite effect.

Progesterone Deficiency

On the other side of the coin, you can become deficient in progesterone which has the same effect as estrogen of promoting and being promoted by hypothyroidism and infertility.

Progesterone is naturally synthesized from the hormone pregnenolone which requires vitamin A, cholesterol, and thyroid hormone to make. So if you are hypothyroid and lack thyroid hormone then your body might not be able to produce enough progesterone to support the fetus.

Another common factor in progesterone deficiency is stress. When your body is under chronic stress then it begins to slow down the production of progesterone in favor of producing more stress hormones.

So, stress can lead to progesterone deficiency which can also play a big part in both hypothyroidism and infertility.

Polyunsaturated Fats

hypothyroidism and infertilityThis is a major cause of hypothyroidism and infertility that nobody ever hears or talks about. And it has a lot to do with the fact that this is a very controversial topic. But in the end, the research speaks for itself.

Polyunsaturated fats in your diet actually cause your body to produce more estrogen. So a diet that is high in polyunsaturated fats can actually cause both hypothyroidism and infertility to develop based on the feedback mechanism between estrogen and thyroid that I mentioned above.

But there’s also another feedback mechanism at play here because when estrogen increases, it causes your body to release more polyunsaturated fats into your bloodstream which perpetuates the problem.

Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E has many beneficial properties that can greatly improve both hypothyroidism and infertility.

For starters, vitamin E helps to offset the effects of estrogen in your body. It also protects your body against the unwanted effects of polyunsaturated fats. It boosts your thyroid function. And it also helps to increase oxygen to the fetus.

Studies have shown that vitamin E increases fertility in both males and female and helps prevent miscarriages.

So it should go without saying that vitamin E is a very powerful nutrient that can offset many of the issues that contribute to hypothyroidism and infertility. By incorporating a good hypothyroidism diet and hypothyroidism treatment protocol, you can effectively improve your thyroid function and drastically improve not only your fertility but also the health of your baby once you conceive.

Hypothyroid Diet

You’re probably sitting here reading this without realizing how huge of an impact the right hypothyroid diet can have on your health and energy level.

Most people are quite mistaken when it comes to hypothyroidism and they actually believe that there’s some magic pill out there that is going to solve their problems. So, any chance they get, they grab what some doctor or celebrity is pushing without realizing that these doctors and celebrities have a far greater interest in cashing their endorsement check than they do in you actually getting the results that you deserve.

So, what does this have to do with a hypothyroid diet?


You need to understand that without the right hypothyroid diet, your thyroid will not heal, no matter what magic pill you take. If you continue to eat foods that are full of thyroid suppressing toxins then nothing is going to compensate for the damage that you are doing to your thyroid and your hypothyroid symptoms will continue to affect your day to day life.

And yes, you are damaging your thyroid every single day.

Top 3 Foods to Avoid on Your Hypothyroid Diet

Here’s a list of some foods that you probably eat every single day that are full of these thyroid suppressing toxins…

1. Avoid Polyunsaturated Fats on Your Hypothyroid Diet

hypothyroid dietYou might be well aware that polyunsaturated fats have been praised for decades as the “heart healthy” fat that is going to save you from heart disease and protect you from all those deadly saturated fats.

Well, you might NOT be well aware that this is one of the biggest lies of our time and polyunsaturated fats should be avoided at all costs in your hypothyroid diet. In fact, there was never any real scientific basis to make this claim.

Originally, this claim was made because farmers found that polyunsaturated fats were very effective at fattening their livestock making them even bigger ad fatter in shorter periods of time. This was great for farmers because the fatter the animal, the more money they made.

Those who stood to profit from promoting polyunsaturated fats proposed the ridiculous idea that because these fats accelerate growth, they must be healthy. What they didn’t tell you was that while it did accelerate growth, the livestock were suffering from serious health problems and the farmers were struggling to keep them alive long enough to slaughter.

Well, what do we see today now that these polyunsaturated fats are being widely used?

Let’s see… We’re seeing more and more obese people and at younger and younger ages while suffering from major health problems and struggling to stay alive.

It’s a mirror image of what happened with these livestock but for some reason, we are walking around scratching our heads wondering why people are so unhealthy today. It’s time you start taking your hypothyroid diet seriously.

Maybe the fact that polyunsaturated fats also kill your brain cells is playing a factor… who know?

Polyunsaturated fats are one of the most important foods to avoid on your hypothyroid diet because they actually suppress your thyroid on 3 different levels making them one of the most problematic foods for your thyroid.

For starters, they effectively suppress your thyroid gland from secreting the thyroid hormone that your cells need to produce the energy that you need to make it through your day.

But to make matters worse, they also block the transport proteins within your bloodstream which are necessary to take your thyroid hormone and deliver it directly to your cells. So, this means that your cells are not even able to get the little thyroid hormone that your thyroid is producing.

To top it all off, these polyunsaturated fats actually impair your cells from efficiently using thyroid hormone. So, your cells aren’t even able to efficiently use what little thyroid hormone they can get their hands on.

It gets even deeper than that but I hope you get the picture and understand why polyunsaturated fats must be removed from your hypothyroid diet.

2. Avoid Soy Products and Other Legumes on Your Hypothyroid Diet

hypothyroid dietI’m sure you’ve heard of soy or many of the food products that are made from soy such as tofu. In fact, soy is considered to be a “health food” in many circles. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has praised soy as a health food.

The use of soy as an alternative plant based protein source has become quite popular within the vegetarian and vegan communities who choose not to consume animal products or proteins.

But is it really healthy?

Much like polyunsaturated fats, science has shown time and time again that soy comes with some major health risks which are completely swept under the rug. In fact, it’s been wrongfully praised for properties that actually suppress your thyroid, all because people don’t understand the true effects of soy.

Needless to say, soy is another food that you need to cross off your hypothyroid diet and never consume again in any form.

Soy, as well as all legumes, have very estrogenic properties and can cause the buildup of estrogen to occur in your body. Many doctors have wrongfully praised soy because they believe that estrogen is the answer to female hormone imbalances, especially around menopause. While they are completely wrong, that’s a whole other topic for a different time.

When you consume soy and other legumes, all of which are estrogenic, as part of your hypothyroid diet the estrogens are effective at blocking your thyroid gland from being able to release thyroid hormone. This results in the buildup of thyroid hormone which eventually causes a goiter to form or in many cases, causes Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

This also has some greater implications as once you create a condition within your body of excess estrogen, this hormonal balance not only causes hypothyroidism but will continue to inhibit your thyroid long term.

This is why the vast majority of cases require a well designed hypothyroid treatment plan to correct the associated hormonal imbalances before your thyroid can begin to function properly again.

3. Avoid Raw Cruciferous Vegetables on Your Hypothyroid Diet

hypothyroid dietYou’ve been told since you were a kid to “eat your veggies”. But what if not all veggies were actually healthy for you? Yes, there are actually a number of veggies that should be avoided on any diet for hypothyroidism, believe it or not.

Some of the most commonly used veggies are of the cruciferous variety. Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower which may seem harmful or even a fun snack idea, actually contain thyroid inhibitors that block your thyroid from functioning properly.

This is why you have to very careful before deciding to eat raw veggies which are also highly touted within the vegetarian and vegan communities.

Cooking these cruciferous vegetables does help to break down these thyroid inhibitors but they need to be cooked very well done and still should not be the focus of your hypothyroid diet.

Just remember that no amount of a bad thing can ever be a good thing.

The right hypothyroidism diet is oftentimes the difference maker between those who get real and permanent results with healing their thyroid and those who see glimmers of hope that quickly fade as they end up right back where they started, or worse.

Keep in mind that these 3 top foods to avoid on your hypothyroid diet are really just the tip of the iceberg. But DO NOT take them for granted because these 3 foods alone can cause serious detrimental damage to your thyroid and you can achieve some significant relief with these simple and minor changes to your hypothyroid diet.

Hypothyroidism Causes

There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding floating around regarding the cause of hypothyroidism. Most people are led to believe that the underlying cause of hypothyroidism is some sort of defect to the thyroid gland itself. But the truth is that there are multiple hypothyroidism causes that all need to be addressed as part of any successful hypothyroidism treatment protocol.

Is Your Thyroid Gland Really the Problem?

It’s true that most doctors are trained to believe that 95% of hypothyroidism is a matter of a sluggish thyroid gland that is incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone to support your body’s needs. And you can’t necessarily blame them because on a very superficial level, it makes sense.

But if that were the case, then 95% of hypothyroidism patients who were put on supplemental Thyroxine (T4 thyroid hormone) would respond favorably and their hypothyroidism symptoms would simply disappear. And doctors prescribe T4 because that’s the primary hormone that your thyroid gland secretes.

But the results of prescribing T4 have been far less than impressive. In fact, they have been outright horrid.

The majority of patients who are put on T4 medication get no relief. Many even get worse. And most doctors fail to come to terms with the fact that this form of treatment is more of a problem than a solution. So, they continue to ignore the various other hypothyroidism causes and reassure their patients that the medication is working but that there are some other “unrelated” problems that they now need to investigate.

The Truth About Hypothyroidism Causes

The truth is that there’s an entire long process that occurs between the time that your thyroid gland produces its hormones and the time that those hormones get delivered to your cells for use. And if any part of this process is broken then the end result is… hypothyroidism.

So, it becomes much easier to see that there are a number of hypothyroidism causes that you have to account for if you really want to correct the problem.

But it gets even deeper than that.

Unfortunately, when any one single part of this process is broken, all the other parts suffer as well, much like a domino effect. So it’s not as easy as fixing the one little broken link in the chain. Once this process is thrown off, you have to work to restore functionality to the entire process to get it working properly again.

And that’s why it becomes so important to address all of the hypothyroidism causes at the same time.

And while TSH levels are high in the majority of hypothyroidism cases (but not all) this is not necessarily an indication of a problem with your thyroid gland. If any part of the process becomes broken then your thyroid gland is going to naturally down regulate and stop producing so many hormones. And it’s important to use the right thyroid function test before basing a diagnosis off of TSH alone.

But it’s easy to point the finger at your thyroid as the problem and that’s a big mistake that most people and doctors make.

Below I’ve listed the 3 main parts of this process to give you a much better idea of what can go wrong and the various hypothyroidism causes involved with each individual part.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Secretion

When it comes to your thyroid gland, there are a few factors that affect its ability to secrete the thyroid hormones that it produces (aside from other broken parts of this process).

Iodine Deficiency

One such issue is an iodine deficiency. But in industrialized countries now days, this is actually one of the very rare hypothyroidism causes. And supplementing with iodine should be approached with extreme caution because you can easily experience iodine toxicity based on many of the popular recommended dosages out there. And this can actually have a number of negative health effects and make you even more hypothyroid in the end.

So it’s important to always get appropriate testing to determine your true iodine levels instead of using a shotgun approach of iodine supplementation.

Excessive Estrogen

One of the very common hypothyroidism causes today that affects your thyroid’s ability to secrete your thyroid hormones is excessive estrogen levels. And this goes for both men and women although it’s more of a problem with women since they naturally have higher estrogen levels.

When estrogen is in excess within the body, it deactivates the proteolytic enzymes that are responsible for signaling your thyroid to release its hormones. So the thyroid hormones tend to build up within the gland and many times leads to goiters and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Progesterone Deficiency

The hormone that is responsible for opposing and balancing estrogen is progesterone. And one of the many beneficial roles of progesterone is to activate the same proteolytic enzymes that estrogen deactivates.

And a deficiency in progesterone oftentimes goes hand in hand with excessive estrogen.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Your thyroid gland produces primarily the inactive T4 hormone that must be first converted by your liver into the active T3 hormone in order to be used by your cells. And because this process is responsible for producing about 2/3 of your active thyroid hormone then it can be a major player among the various hypothyroidism causes.

Protein Deficiency

Hopefully you are well aware of the fact that protein plays an important role in your diet. And when you don’t get enough protein in your diet then your body begins to break down your own muscle tissue in order to get the protein that it needs. But this comes with a price.

The process involved in breaking down your muscle tissue requires the use of your body’s stress hormones. And when these stress hormones rise, they also block the conversion of T4 into T3 making this one of the hypothyroidism causes.

Low Carb Diets

There’s a lot of controversy out there regarding the healthiest diet. Some claim that low-fat is the only healthy diet. And others argue that carbs are the problem. But in reality, both are wrong.

But low carb diets can really cause some problems with your thyroid. And this is because your liver requires carbs in your diet in order to convert T4 to T3. So it’s safe to say that carbs are not necessarily the problem. It has more to do with eating the wrong carbs vs. the right carbs.

And this is where a good science based hypothyroidism diet comes into play. But you have to be careful because not every hypothyroidism diet is created equal. And some are flat out bad.

Lack of Salt

Let’s move back to the topic of stress for a minute.

One problem that goes hand in hand with hypothyroidism is the inability to retain sodium within your cells. When you become hypothyroid, your cells easily take up water and sodium is readily eliminated.

But sodium plays a number of very important roles in your body, one of which is to help keep stress hormones levels low. So, your stress hormones are naturally going to be high with hypothyroidism and if you’re not getting enough salt in your diet to then you won’t be able to keep those stress hormones under control.

And as I already mentioned above, stress hormones are another one of the hypothyroidism causes.


Keeping along the same topic of stress, many people over-exercise which only places more stress on your body. In fact, it has been shown that over-exercising with hypothyroidism can actually stop your body’s production of the active thyroid hormone, T3, immediately.

So if you think more exercise or working out harder is going to do the trick then think again.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Utilization

There are a few hypothyroidism causes that affect your body’s ability to properly utilize thyroid hormone. But few have the far reaching effects of these.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Poly Unsaturated Fats are a major contributing factor with hypothyroidism. They can easily be put into the category that affects thyroid hormone secretion because they do play an active role in suppressing the thyroid gland from secreting its hormones. But these fats also have more far reaching effects.

Polyunsaturated fats also work by blocking the transportation of your thyroid hormone in your bloodstream. So, this means that even less of the needed hormone is actually making it to your cells.

And to make matters worse, once your cells do get the little bit of thyroid hormone, these fats make your thyroid hormone less effective within your cells. So it requires even more thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism and cells healthy.

And with the prevalence of polyunsaturated fats in everyone’s diet today, it’s very easy to see that this is another one of the major hypothyroidism causes of today.

Miscellaneous Hypothyroidism Causes

Of course, there are so many other hypothyroidism causes that it’s impossible to list them all. But there are a couple of others that I think are worth mentioning because they do shed some light as to why hypothyroidism is so common.

Natural Aging

As you age, there’s a natural shift that occurs in your hormone levels, thyroid hormone included. And as your body naturally decreases its hormone secretion, then it becomes more and more important to get these necessary hormones from other sources, such as this.


Our diets have changed drastically over the past century and unfortunately, it’s been entirely for the worse. And this has become another one of the bigger hypothyroidism causes of today.

We use to utilize the entire animal that we ate including the various organs, bone, etc. And many of these parts that we now discard without thinking use to be very rich in thyroid hormones. So we use to get a good amount of thyroid hormone directly from our diet. And that meant that our thyroid gland didn’t have to produce quite so much on it’s own.

Hopefully this gives you some insight into how complex this issue really is and that it’s not as simple as saying that your thyroid itself is the problem. Instead, you have to consider the entire process and all of the hypothyroidism causes that can be involved along the way if you ever want to truly be successful at healing hypothyroidism.