An inexpensive fix for infertility

February 28, 2012

Health, Pregnancy, Thyroidism

The various hormone-producing tissues do not work properly when the body is low on thyroid because the thyroid is the master gland.

by Dr. Mark Starr — 

The thyroid gland was once nicknamed the third ovary. The various hormone-producing tissues do not work properly when the body is low on thyroid because the thyroid is the master gland. This piece of forgotten information can save many women a lot of trouble.

Too little thyroid and tadpoles cannot develop into frogs. Too little thyroid and human females struggle with menstrual cramps, PMS, profuse bleeding, irregular periods, fibroids, cystic breasts, C-sections and even miscarriage. Eventually, the cascade of issues often leads to hysterectomies. Too little thyroid means there isn’t enough to complete the maturation process properly. Hypothyroidism is a well-known cause of infertility.

The famed endocrinologist, Dr. Broda Barnes, taught at a hospital in Colorado where, like today, doctors saw many complications related to childbirth. In 1939, he made a bet with the resident physicians he was teaching that every woman he cared for would be able to get off the delivery table and carry her baby out of the room by herself. Barnes had treated his patients with thyroid, among other things. He lost his bet just once — a woman with high blood pressure whom he saw for the first time late in the pregnancy.

Infertility ranges from seven percent of 20- to 24-year-old women, to 22 percent of 35- to 39-year-old women. Sperm banks report a marked drop in the average sperm count of donors during the last 20 years, and males account for up to 35 percent of the fertility problem. Why? Because our burden of environmental toxins has ballooned.

One 2004 study ( showed pregnant women each averaged 200 toxins in their umbilical cord blood, many of which interfere with thyroid metabolism. More and more people are unable to properly use the thyroid their bodies make. It is like type 2 diabetics who make plenty of insulin, but whose cells have trouble using it.

Blood tests often show that enough thyroid is circulating in the blood, but blood tests can’t measure the more critical factor of whether the thyroid is being utilized inside the cells, where it provides the energy for life’s processes. In other words, the gas tank measures full, but the gas is not getting into the carburetor.

The best way to measure whether or not your body is able to utilize thyroid is to check your basal temperature. Put a thermometer in your armpit first thing in the morning for 10 minutes. If the reading is less than 97.8 degrees upon awakening (basal means at rest), then the cells are not producing the energy required for optimal health and fertility. Women should test days two through four during menses; if the temperature is low, you very likely are hypothyroid.

Historically, desiccated thyroid would be given in unexplained cases of infertility with remarkable results. Unfortunately, in the 1970s, the medical establishment became reliant upon blood tests to measure for hypothyroidism, and blood tests are not nearly as good a measurement as the old-fashioned — and free — basal temperature method.

During the same time frame, the desiccated thyroid (Armour) that had been used safely and effectively for 70 years was discarded in favor of synthetic thyroid. With desiccated thyroid, many can and do successfully become pregnant, even after failing expensive and painful fertility treatments.


Mark Starr, M.D.(H), is a lecturer and author of Type 2 Hypothyroidism: The Epidemic. He is board-certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and has studied with preeminent endocrinologists. His office is in Paradise Valley, Ariz. 480-607-6503 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  3, Jun/July 2009.

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