Iodine Deficiency May Impact Fertility in Women of Childbearing Age

Women with moderate-to-severe deficiency had a 46% reduction in fecundity
Women with moderate-to-severe deficiency had a 46% reduction in fecundity

HealthDay News — Moderate-to-severe iodine deficiency is associated with a reduction in fecundity in women of childbearing age, according to a study published online January 11 in Human Reproduction.

James L. Mills, MD, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues evaluated data (from interviews, journals, and urine samples) from 501 women participating in the LIFE Study, a population-based prospective cohort study, who had discontinued contraception within 2 months to become pregnant (2005 to 2009). 

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The researchers found that 44.3% of urine samples were in the deficiency range for iodine. Those with moderate-to-severe deficiency (iodine-creatinine ratios <50 μg/g) had a 46% reduction in fecundity versus those whose iodine-creatinine ratios were in the adequate range (adjusted fecundability odds ratio of becoming pregnant per cycle, 0.54).

"Significant delays in becoming pregnant occur at iodine concentrations that are common in women in the U.S.A. and parts of Europe," the authors write. "Replicating these findings will be important to determine whether improving iodine status could be beneficial in improving fecundability."

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