How Birth Control Pills Change Your Thyroid Gland

Thyroid hormone levels are affected by the amount produced. Estrogen, whether produced in pregnancy or ingested, as in the case of hormonal contraception, affects Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG). This is a glycoprotein that binds the actual thyroid molecules themselves. Generally thyroid binding globulin releases T3 and T4 very quickly to the cells, and is not a detriment to thyroid function in our body, but because it is over produced when taking birth control pills the actual total amount of thyroid in the body is increased. But the amount of free thyroid, the active thyroid, is not changed. Birth control pills should not affect the TSH, or pituitary production of thyroid stimulating hormone, either. So testing the thyroid is still easy in pregnancy or when you are on birth control pills.

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