Graves' Disease and Pregnancy
Like many other conditions, Graves' disease should be monitored during pregnancy. This is because a woman with uncontrolled or inadequately controlled hyperthyroidism (which is often caused by Graves' disease) is at increased risk.
Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism during pregnancy raises the chance of:
- A miscarriage
- Preterm delivery
- Preeclampsia, which is a potentially serious complication that increases blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure.
During pregnancy, the treatment options for Graves' disease are more limited. For example, not all antithyroid medications are safe for use in pregnant women (surgery may be recommended for pregnant women who cannot tolerate any antithyroid medicines). Radioiodine therapy is not used in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
(Click Hyperthyroidism and Pregnancy for a more in-depth look at this topic. This article explains why some new cases go undiagnosed during pregnancy and offers more details on treatment options that are safe for women who are expecting.)