Evaluation of thyroid function in infertile female patients in port harcourt, Nigeria
Context: An optimally functional reproductive system and fecundity is fundamental for the sustenance of life. Undiagnosed and untreated thyroid disease may cause infertility.
Aim: To evaluate and compare thyroid function tests of infertile women with those of fertile women.
Settings and Design: There were 216 infertile women and 200 fertile women in this study.
Materials and Methods: Serum thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, progesterone, and estrogen were analysed using ELISA techniques.
Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 (SPSS Inc. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.).
Results: Overall prevalence of thyroid disorders in infertile women was 4.6%. They had higher prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity (TAI) (2.8%) compared to controls (1.0%). They also had overt hypothyroidism (0.9%) and overt hyperthyroidism (0.9%) whereas controls had only subclinical hypothyroidism (1.0%). Infertile patients had significantly higher FSH, LH, prolactin, and estrogen, but lower progesterone values than controls. There was no significant difference in the mean FT3, FT4, TSH, and TPOAb between patients and controls. However, after further stratification, women with TSH >2.5 mIU/L were observed to have higher mean TSH and prolactin, and lower FT4 and FT3 levels than women with TSH ≤2.5 mIU/L.
Conclusions: Significant findings were observed only in infertile, and also fertile, women with TSH >2.5 mIU/L, who had lower levels of FT4 and FT3 and higher levels of TSH and prolactin compared to women with TSH ≤2.5 mIU/L, respectively.
Keywords: Infertile female; Nigeria; Port Harcourt; thyroid function; thyroid hormones