To Your Health Newsletter

February, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 04)
Low Iodine = Low Fertility

By Editorial Staff

A few issues ago, we discussed how ibuprofen may negatively impact men's fertility. Well, iodine deficiency can have a similar effect on women. Let's learn about iodine and why women should ensure they're getting enough (but not too much), particularly if they're trying to conceive a child.

The body can't produce iodine on its own, so you need to get enough either from diet or supplementation (although you generally won't find it in many foods). Deficiency can cause more than just fertility issues in women; the thyroid gland can suffer in the absence of adequate iodine, leading to conditions such as goiter or even cancer. It's also important in fetal brain development.

Now back to iodine and fertility, which a recent study in Human Reproduction suggests have a strong connection. Women deficient in iodine had only about half the chance of conceiving per menstrual cycle during the five-year study period compared to women with adequate iodine levels. All women enrolled in the study had recently discontinued contraception use and were actively trying to conceive a child with their partner.

So, adequate iodine is important ... but keep in mind too much iodine can also be a problem. Talk to your doctor if you're experiencing thyroid or fertility issues to make sure you take enough iodine to correct the problems, but not so much that you cause more problems.

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