Management of Hyperthyroidism during the Preconception Phase, Pregnancy, and the Postpartum Period

Sudipa Sarkar, Lindsay A. Bischoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hyperthyroidism can occur during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and the treatment of hyperthyroidism should be considered in the preconception phase. Pregnancy has multiple normal physiologic effects on thyroid hormone, which is a separate process distinct from syndromes such as transient hyperthyroidism of hyperemesis gravidarum. The rationale regarding antithyroid drug use during different stages of pregnancy is reviewed, including the literature regarding adverse neonatal outcomes such as aplasia cutis and methimazole embryopathy in the setting of first trimester maternal methimazole use. The use of treatment modalities for hyperthyroidism during pregnancy such as surgery is also discussed. Studies of maternal, fetal, and neonatal complications of hyperthyroidism are examined in this article. Moreover, the evidence regarding antithyroid drugs, specifically methimazole and propylthiouracil, during lactation is considered. Other disease conditions that can take place during pregnancy and the postpartum period such as hyperemesis gravidarum, subclinical hyperthyroidism, gestational trophoblastic disease, and postpartum thyroiditis and their treatments are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • hyperthyroidism
  • lactation
  • methimazole
  • pregnancy
  • propylthiouracil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology (medical)


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