Topics of Interest

An Association between Thyroid Disease and Fibroids

Overt hypothyroidism is associated with the presence of uterine leiomyoma: a retrospective analysis. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2014 Jun;177:19-22.

Authors: Ott J, Kurz C, Braun R, Promberger R, Seemann R, Vytiska-Binstorfer E, Walch K.

Study from: Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Problem: Few studies have examined the relationship between low thyroid function and the presence of uterine fibroids.

Study: 215 infertile women who had gynecologic surgery between 2007 and 2011 were studied. All fibroids that were suspected on ultrasound were confirmed during surgery. The authors calculated whether the 51 women with fibroids were more likely to: have thyroid disease; be older; be of African heritage; be older at the time of their first menstrual period; have more children, :or, be overweight.

Results: Women of African heritage were more likely to have fibroids and women with underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) were 3 times as likely to have fibroids as women without hypothyroidism. Larger fibroids were found in women with hypothyroidism than in those women without hypothyroidism.

Authors’ Conclusions: Women with an underactive thyroid were more likely to have fibroids than women with normal thyroid function.

Dr. Parker’s Comments:

A number of women have asked me about the association of fibroids and thyroid disease, but I had been unaware of any studies that had reported this. However, this study does show that women with underactive thyroids are at a higher risk of having fibroids. This is an association and does not mean that thyroid disease causes fibroids, nor would treating thyroid disease be expected to reduce the chances of getting fibroids. The current (unproven) theory is that something in the body, perhaps proteins associated with chronic inflammation, can lead to both thyroid disease and fibroids. Until more is known about this association, it might make sense for women with fibroids to have their thyroid hormone level checked with a blood test.


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Fibroid Doctor William H. Parker

Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research. Based in San Diego, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late 90's.

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