Antithyroid Antibodies (ATA, AMA, Abs)

Definition - What does Antithyroid Antibodies (ATA, AMA, Abs) mean?

Antithyroid antibodies are produced by the human body in response to damage to thyroid cells. The presence of antithyroid antibodies is common in people with thyroid problems, for example hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormones). The presence of antithyroid antibodies may indicate that further tests are needed to investigate for a possible autoimmune disease or a thyroid disorder that may impact fertility. High levels of antithyroid antibodies have been linked to recurrent pregnancy loss, premature birth, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure.

Antithyroid antibodies are also known as antithyroid microsomal antibodies.

FertilitySmarts explains Antithyroid Antibodies (ATA, AMA, Abs)

Antithyroid antibodies are found in the general population at a rate of 1 in 5 women. Research has shown that 10.5% of women with infertility also had antithyroid antibodies. The underlying mechanisms that explain the link between thyroid autoimmunity and infertility are not convulsively understood, but normal levels of thyroid hormones are required for normal reproductive health.

Similarly, while a link to between the presence of antithyroid antibodies and recurrent pregnancy loss has been established, the exact cause is not understood. Speculation includes that a heighten immune system (as indicated by the antibodies) attacks the fetus or that the antibodies are markers for trophectoderm cell (T-cells) issues that impact embryo implantation.

Healthy thyroid function during pregnancy is also important as the developing baby uses the mother's thyroid hormones for normal development until the baby's thyroid gland begins to work on its own.

A recent study has shown that women with antithyroid antibodies had a 2-3 fold increase in intrauterine (in the uterus) death when compare to women with a negative antithyroid hormone test. Abnormal birth weight was also observed in successful pregnancies.

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