On May 23, 2013, the National Information and Screening Campaign “ Thyroid and Pregnancy” was launched. The initiative is being held on the occasion of International Thyroid Week (May 20-26) and International Thyroid Disease Day - May 25.
The campaign will be celebrated in Bulgaria for the third time, and its organizer is the Bulgarian Society of Endocrinology. The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness among women of childbearing age so that they can recognize the symptoms of impaired thyroid function and seek medical help promptly.
The press conference was attended by prof. Dr. Boyan Lozanov, head of internal medicine clinic at Tokuda Hospital Sofia, long-time head of the Clinic for Thyroid Diseases at the Clinical Center of Endocrinology; Dr. Georgi Stamenov, obstetrician-gynecologist, specialist in reproductive medicine, MBAL for Women's He alth "Nadezhda"; Dr. Alexander Shinkov, chief assistant at the Clinic for Thyroid, Metabolic and Bone Diseases, USBALE "Ak. Ivan Penchev" and Dr. Nataliya Temelkova, endocrinologist at "Alexandrovska" UMBAL".
Main focus this year is the link between thyroid disease and infertility. The causes of fertility problems (conception) can be many. One of them is an undiagnosed disease of the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the normal functioning of the reproductive system. When dysfunctional, it produces too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormones, both conditions negatively affecting fertility in both women and men.
Thyroid function disorders can occur before, during and after pregnancy. According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), problems with this organ can lead to infertility, complications during pregnancy and affect the neurological development of the newborn.
Even the mildest forms of thyroid dysfunction, with no obvious symptoms and no negative effect on fertility, increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Every woman planning a pregnancy should take appropriate measures and conduct the necessary thyroid tests.
From May 27, within a month in the cities of Sofia, Pernik, Petrich, Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv, Velingrad, Troyan, Stara Zagora, Kazanlak, Burgas, Sliven and Shumen, free examinations of the thyroid of women of childbearing age. And this year the campaign is implemented with the support of Merck Bulgaria.
The aim of the screening is to cover only undiagnosed women who are planning pregnancy, women with reproductive problems or pregnant women. In this regard, general practitioners in the respective cities will refer women meeting the criteria to a specialized examination by an endocrinologist who is involved in the campaign. In the medical institutions that will participate in the initiative, there will be pasted notices exactly which specialists, according to what schedule they will examine and how those who wish to register.
In two cities - Varna and Sofia, free screening tests of the hormone TSH in the blood of women of reproductive age will be conducted. In the "St. Marina" in the city of Varna, tests will be performed on women who meet the medical criteria and have not been diagnosed by a specialist endocrinologist so far. In the city of Sofia in USBALE "Ak. Ivan Penchev", pregnant women who have a preventive biochemical screening of their blood will be able to be tested for thyroid diseases free of charge.
The thyroid gland is a "master regulator" of metabolism and plays a key role in our he alth. It is a small, butterfly-shaped organ located in the front of the neck that produces the so-called thyroid hormones, vital for the body's metabolism, growth and development. Changes in the structure or function of the thyroid gland can significantly affect other organs and systems ("the butterfly effect") - cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive system, neuropsychological problems, etc.
Over 300 million people worldwide have thyroid problems. It is estimated that more than half of them are unaware of their condition.
Not every thyroid disease has visible symptoms and it is essential that people know what signs to look for in order to see an endocrinologist in a timely manner. Disorders in the normal function of the thyroid gland can be effectively treated. Early diagnosis, regular prophylaxis and adequate treatment are essential.