If you are having troubles becoming pregnant, you may want to ask your fertility tests. Fertility tests often help to indicate what is causing your fertility problems. The antithyroglobulin test is used to measure antibodies to the thyroid gland. These antibodies are frequently found in women with unexplained infertility and recurrent miscarriage.
What is Antithyroglobulin?
Antithyroglobulin is a antibody, sometimes found in the bloodstream, that fights against thyroglobulin. Thyroglobulin is a protein that belongs to your thryoid gland. It is responsible for producing different hormones that help to monitor your metabolism, heart rate, and other bodily functions.
Normally, your body manufactures antibodies to help attack invading cells. For different reasons though, some people develop antibodies to their own natural cells. Antithyroglobulin is one of these types of antibodies. It destroys the natural protein cells in the thryoid gland, leading to the destruction of the thyroid gland.
Antithyroglobulin and Antimicrosomal Antibodies
Antithyroglobulin is often found alongside another thryoid antibody, called antimicrosomal antibody. People with antithyroglobulin in their bloodstream typically have antimicrosomal antibody too. Antimicrosomal antibody also attacks the thryoid gland. Together, the two types of antibodies are referred to as antithyroid antibodies.
Who Has Antithyroglobulin Antibodies?
Antithyroglobuin antibodies are generally found in minute amounts in all healthy people. They are found in larger amounts in people with certain illnesses. Antithryoglobulin is often found in people with:
- Graves Disease
- Hashimoto's Disease
- Sjogren's Syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Anthyroglobulin antibodies are also found in many women with unexplained infertiity and ef="recurrent miscarriages.
Infertility and Antithyroglobulin
Recently, it was discovered that antithyroglobulin antibodies actually play a role in infertility. Antithyroglobulin tends to interfere with embryo implantation. As the embryo tries to attach to your uterus, toxins are released, resulting in miscarriage.
Women with high levels of antithyroglobulin antibodies tend to have troubles conceiving. Studies show that women with these antibodies miscarry twice as often as women without them. Also, up to 30% of women experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss, have high levels of antithyroglobulin or antimicrosomal antibodies in their blood. Antithyroglobulin is also associated with:
- recurrent IVF failure
- recurrent IUI failure
If you suspect that thyroglobulin antibodies may be interfering with your ability to become pregnant, ask your reproductive endocrinologist for a test. This test is very simple, and only requires a small blood sample. You will be required to fast beforehand, and may have to refrain from taking certain medications that could intefere with the test results. Your blood sample will be sent to a lab for testing.
The results for the antithyroglobulin antibody test are measured in titers. This is a measurement of how much your blood can be diluted until there are no longer any antibodies in your system. Negative results are generally less than 1:72 while borderline results are between 1:72 and 1:300. Positive results are anything higher than 1:300. If your results are positive, it is likely that you may be having infertility troubles as a result of high levels of antithyroglobulin antibodies in your blood.
If you do test positive for the antibody, your health care provider can discuss your options with you. High levels of the antibody could indicate the presence of an autoimmune disease, which may require further treatment. Medications can also help to reduce the amount of antithyroglobulin in your bloodstream, increasing the chances that you will become pregnant. Medications include Prednisone and Dexamethasone.