The main goal of this study was to determine if treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism during pregnancy improves the maternal emotional well being of the patient. Subclinical hypothyroidism is usually referred to as milk thyroid failure. It is diagnosed when the patient’s peripheral thyroid hormones are normal but their serum thyroid-stimulating hormones are mildly elevated. Only about 3-5% of the general population experiences this.
Women carrying health, normal, single pregnancies and that were diagnosed with SCH were randomized in the trial. The women could not have already been taking antidepressants or be diagnosed with depression. During the study, each patient was assessed for depressive symptoms using the CES-D scale for grading depression. The test was done prior to the third trimester of their pregnancy and then one year after giving birth.
Treatment with thyroxine or the placebo gave similar positive scores that were at baseline during the first testing. Treatment was not associated with improvements in median CES-D scores during the first testing before the third trimester. At one year postpartum, the frequency of positive screenings was higher for the placebo group but the difference was not significant. Treatment was overall not associated with improved emotional states in pregnant women. This treatment study is interesting because of the amount of women that experience post-partum depression. I have read about different homeopathic preventative measures that some women have tried but never knew if drugs were studied. I think it’s important to continue studying this disease state in pregnant women post birth because it has a big impact on the infants health and care. Should more money in the antidepressant field be going to preventative measures of post-birth depression in women?
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016;214(1):201-202.