Thyroid dysfunctions such as hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis and thyroid nodules may develop during pregnancy leading to abortion, placental abruptions, preeclampsia, preterm delivery and reduced intellectual function in the offspring. Epidemiological data have shown the significant role of maternal thyroid hormone in fetal neurologic development and maternal health. It has been suggested that the deleterious effects of thyroid dysfunction can also extend beyond pregnancy and delivery to affect neuro-intellectual development in the early life of the child. Pregnancy poses an important challenge to the maternal thyroid gland as hormone requirements are increased during gestation as a result of an increase in thyroid- binding globulin, the stimulatory effect of HCG on TSH receptors, and increased peripheral thyroid hormone requirements. Maternal thyroid dysfunction is associated with increased risk for early abortion, preterm delivery, neonatal morbidity and other obstetrical complications. Early diagnosis for thyroid dysfunction of pregnant women and treatment of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy is important and cost effective to avoid both fetal and maternal complications secondary to thyroid dysfunction. Therefore the aim of this review was to assess the thyroid function changes occurring during pregnancy, the different disorders with their maternal and fetal implications, the laboratory diagnosis and the best ways of management of these conditions.
Keywords: Ethiopia; Gondar; Pregnancy; Thyroid hormone.