October 25, 2018
Fertility & Pregnancy
Short answer: yes, you can!
If you have hypopituitarism and are yet to have a child, it’s likely that you’ve contemplated the impact of your condition on your fertility. If you’re looking for answers, you’ve reached the right place.
What Is Hypopituitarism and What Are the Symptoms?
Hypopituitarism is a condition caused by an underactive pituitary gland – a gland situated in the brain responsible for the release of eight important hormones. These hormones are instrumental in maintaining body function and performing an array of tasks – from fortifying bones to moderating metabolism. Here they are, mentioned below.
- Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
This hormone is responsible for cortisol production and triggers chemical changes to stimulate the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
- Antidiuretic Hormone
The antidiuretic hormone regulates blood pressure and sustains fluids within the body.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Playing a golden role in fertility, this hormone encourages the growth of ovarian follicles in women, and sperm in men.
- Growth Hormone
Stimulating growth in kids and maintaining body structure and metabolism in adults, this hormone plays an indirect role in fertility, in that its metabolic changes affect other hormones.
- Luteinising Hormone (LH)
This is one of the foremost hormones for fertility, puberty and menstruation.
Imperative for childbirth and lactation, oxytocin sometimes also influences behavioural tendencies.
Prolactin has varied uses in the body; one of its main, the production of breast milk upon childbirth.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
This hormone controls the production of other hormones in the thyroid.
Typical symptoms of hypopituitarism include:
- Stomach pain
- Reduced appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Sensitivity to the cold
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
What Causes Hypopituitarism?
Hypopituitarism may be inherited, but is more often an acquired condition, typically caused by a tumour of the pituitary gland. As the tumour grows, it starts pressing against the pituitary tissue, damaging it. Hypopituitarism may also be caused by other factors like head or brain injury, stroke, autoimmune disease, brain infection, tuberculosis, radiation, genetic mutations, severe blood loss during childbirth and infiltrative diseases.
What Is the Link Between Hypopituitarism and Fertility?
The pituitary gland and fertility share a curious relationship – if one sinks, the other follows. When the pituitary gland falters or haemorrhages, it produces less luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, and more prolactin. In the latter case, fertility can be restored by stabilising prolactin levels through medication.
What Is the Treatment for Hypopituitarism-induced Infertility?
Even with hypopituitarism, there are several ways and means to carry a healthy pregnancy to term, although you might need fertility intervention and close monitoring upon conception. If you exhibit low LH and FSH levels, your fertility specialist might start ovulation induction to jumpstart your ovaries and mature your follicles.
It’s important to note that hypopituitarism isn’t limited to women. It can cause infertility in men too, affecting sperm production. In men, long-term treatment (of up to a year or more) may be advised, to build sperm reserves. Thus, if you suspect a pituitary problem, it’s a good idea to have a semen analysis done, to gauge the quality of your sperm. If your sperm count is healthy, consider storing your sperm ahead of time to hedge your risk of long-term damage.
Don’t let hypopituitarism reign over your life’s plan. With customised treatments on Cloudnine, overcome your condition and start your family, your way.