The relationship between thyroid function and ovarian reserve: a prospective cross-sectional study

Thyroid Res. 2021 Oct 1;14(1):22. doi: 10.1186/s13044-021-00112-2.


Background: Thyroid dysfunction can affect fertility and miscarriage risk by affecting the process of follicular growth, embryo development, implantation, and placental formation. It has been suggested that thyroid disorders are associated with ovarian reserve by affecting the follicular process. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between thyroid hormone levels and ovarian reserve.

Methods: Three hundred fourteen women with infertility due to various etiologies were enrolled in this study (172 individuals with Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) level ≥ 1.1 ng/ml and 142 individuals with AMH < 1.1 ng/ml). Serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E2) on day 2-4 of menstrual cycles, AMH, Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and thyroxine (free T4) were evaluated.

Results: In participants with age over 35 years, median TSH level in women with AMH < 1.1 ng/ml was significantly higher than those with AMH ≥1.1 ng/ml (P-value =0.037). There was no significant difference in body mass index (BMI) in patients with age older than 35 years and younger than 35 years sub-groups based on AMH level (P-value = 0.102, and P-value = 0.909 respectively). With one unit increase in TSH level, the odds of having AMH < 1.1 ng/ml increases by 1.25 times or by 25% (P-value =0.017). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed a TSH cut-off point of 1.465 mIU/L in participants over 35 years in identifying decreased AMH level.

Conclusion: Our study supports the relationship between TSH level and ovarian reserve so that with an increase in TSH from a certain level is associated with a decrease in ovarian function.

Keywords: AMH; TSH; Thyroid dysfunction; ovarian reserve.