AnonymousJune 22, 1998 at 12:56 pmPost count: 93172
Most doctor’s recommend 12 months between RAI and getting pregnant. The
reasoning is that when you take the RAI the excess radiation is excreated
in the urine. Thus the reason for flushing the toilet three times after
use to dilute the radiation. The bladder holds the urine and it is very
close to the overies and developing eggs. The radiation may harm the eggs
so they suggest waiting 12 months for the eggs that were in development at
the time of RAI to be used and passed during your periods. Hope this helped
to answer your questions.
Live well, love much and Grandfather’s blessings
JakeAnonymousNovember 3, 1998 at 11:30 pmPost count: 93172
I will be thinking of your sister and those young man. How horrible!!!
I’ve been a medic for many years and worked on an ambulance and in the ER. PLEASE PLEASE everyone…. WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS! Kim, you may have helped saved lives today! Blessings,
TrishAnonymousJanuary 7, 2000 at 5:41 pmPost count: 93172
Kim, Yes. I had RAI after taking PTU for about 18 months. I did not want to take RAI, not because of the radioactive factor just because I did not feel “right” about it. I went to three different endos and they all told me, “You don’t have a choice. You HAVE to do this.” The reason they gave me was that because I was a woman “in childbearing years” (I was 34)that it was the only solution for me. I was not married, not in a relationship and not planning on having a child at the time but they didn’t seem to listen to that. I had very few serious side effects at the time from being hyper. I overheated easily and could become irrationally irritable but I did not have heart palpatations, weight loss, hair loss, shakiness problems with my eyes or anything like that.I did have a slightly visible goiter. For me, all the negative side effects occurred AFTER taking RAI. I “crashed” into hypo about 4 months after RAI and had not been thoroughly warned about what that would feel like so I had no idea what was going on. I began to have eye problems at that time as well as several auto-immune related medical problems that were chronic in nature that took me the next four years to get under control. I have now had seven eye surgeries and nearly 20 gynechological surgeries (not kidding) during the last 5-6 year period ALL following RAI treatment. I have to laugh because the doctors insisted that if I wanted to get pregnant that RAI would be the safest most speedy way to go. There is NO WAY that I could have become pregnant in the last six years even if I had wanted to because of the after effects of RAI and the accompanying medical problems. I for one, think that I DID have a choice and in hindsight I wish I had followed my instincts and just had the thyroid removed completely. Less follow up to stabilize on hormone replacement therapy. Greatly reduced antibodies released into one’s system following surgery than with RAI which is (to me) like bombing the thyroid and letting all the hormones and antibodies flood one’s bloodstream which can in turn cause other long term autoimmune system problems. Some people have much better luck with RAI. Everyone is different and you have to make your own choice. This is just my story but hope it helps. Take Care. SydnaAnonymousMarch 16, 2000 at 6:15 pmPost count: 93172
For those who got anxious having read my previous message:
I would like to explain that it was only ONE doctor and she said it MIGHT influence a future pregnancy without giving any concrete arguments, so I don’t really think you may rely on this. Sorry for causing any confusion.
EwaAnonymousJuly 14, 2006 at 2:19 pmPost count: 93172
Hi there, I would love to hear some stories about people who had RAI and then had successful pregnancies. It seems like most of the people on this board already had children when they discovered that they have Grave’s.
I’m feeling a little sad because it seems like the whole world is pregnant (well, at least in my little circle) and I’m just sitting here waiting. I had RAI three weeks ago, and the six months to a year seem like it will be an endless wait.
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant, with what would be our first child, for over a year when I discovered I have Grave’s and then it took about 4 months to get everything sorted out because it took so long to get doctor’s appointments, etc. I’m 33 and feel like our chances for having a family are getting smaller by the day. By the time the doctor says it’s okay to start to get pregnant again, I’ll be almost 34 (if not older). I know now that I shouldn’t have waited so long, but always thought we’d have plenty of time.
I keep doubting my decision to have RAI, and thinking that I should have just opted for surgery. I have a friend with Graves who had surgery and was able to get pregnant three month later. She urged me to get surgery, but my doctor scoffed at the idea when I mentioned it. Maybe I should get surgery now anyways? The radiologist said the radiation would not pose a problem to a pregnancy a month after having treatment. He said the reason they ask patients to wait is to get the thyroid levels in balance which takes longer in RAI patients.
I’m sorry for the very long post. Any happy stories about “older” women who get pregnant after RAI would be most welcome! Or, do you know anyone who had surgery immediately after having RAI due to treatment regrets?AnonymousJuly 16, 2006 at 6:39 amPost count: 93172
I can’t answer your question about having children successfully after RAI since I don’t have children but I am a child of an older adult. My brother was born when my mother was 31 and I was born when she was 35. If you already had RAI done and it is successful then there is no reason that you would need to have surgery done too, unless you have some other problems with thyroid cancer or something else besides just overactive thyroid.
I had RAI done in April, went underactive very fast and am on thyroid replacement medication now (Levothyroxine). Overall I feel much better than I have in four years but it did increase my anxiety level so other things do bother me a lot more right now and it is not a good time to make major decisions about anything.
Hang in there. Things will start to get better soon.AnonymousJuly 17, 2006 at 10:51 amPost count: 93172
First off, do NOT second guess yourself on your decision to do RAI right now. For one thing, it’s an absolutely pointless exercise — there’s nothing you can do about it. For another, it is way, way too soon for you to know how well it’s going to work for you to make you healthy again.
As for your primary worry about it, you may have some difficulty getting responses to your request for info from people who had pregnancies after RAI. This is a board that is primarily dominated by people who are currently ill, not those who have gotten well again. The folks who get well — and perhaps especially the folks who get well and then increase the size of their family — do not typically come to this board on any type of consistent basis: they are too busy doing other, more fun things than reading about illness.
I found information in studies that showed no problems for pregnancies created by the RAI treatment. In fact, as I read through things when I was first diagnosed, my personal response was that if I had been twenty years younger when I got Graves, I probably would have preferred RAI, and being on replacement hormone, when going through a pregnancy. (The same would hold true for surgical removal of the thyroid, but I am phobic about surgery. ; ) ) Those thoughts were because antithyroid drugs can create problems for the baby. Pregnant patients HAVE gotten through pregnancies on the ATDs, with no harm to the baby, but it is a much tougher balancing act than it is with replacement hormone.
So, please, try to relax and make sure you are helping your recovery along by eating well, and getting exercise when your doctors give you the OK to start exercising again.
Wishing you good luck and good health soon.
Bobbi — NGDF Online FacilitatorAnonymousJuly 17, 2006 at 12:27 pmPost count: 93172
Thanks once again for the support. Yes, I know rationally probably everything will work away. I think I’m just feeling a little panicky because it seems that time is slipping away while I’m waiting.
My husband and I decided this weekend that since I have to wait to get pregnant that we’ll do some travelling that will be hard once we have children in the meantime. We’ve booking a trip to Turkey to visit friends and then maybe will go back to South America later in the year. I’ll try to make the best of this time.
Also, since I’ve been on beta blockers and I’ve gotten over the initial problems caused by RAI, I’m able to do most exercise. I’m definitely not where I was pre-Grave’s, but I just did a five mile hike with 2000 vertical feet of uphill this weekend, and didn’t feel too bad. It was definitely slow going, but I made it. This doesn’t seem to be the case with most Grave’s folks. Maybe I’m just “lucky” in this regard.AnonymousJuly 19, 2006 at 2:16 amPost count: 93172
This doesn’t directly tie – but I did have both of our children after having RAI (not super soon) but I did not have any problems getting pregnant and no complications for the kids. My grave’s disease was 10 years ago (I was 24) and I got pregnant at 28 (we didn’t try sooner than that). Our second, I was 32 when I got pregnant (again, we didn’t try sooner) – if you would like to read my “story” it is posted today under “Treated with RAI – doing well for 10 years”. I was pregnant within 2 weeks the firs time we tried and 2 months the second time.
It takes time – but you will feel great again. Oh, and I chose RAI partially because it was my personal first choice, but also because I consulted one of my best friends from college, who is also a nuclear pharmicist, and asked her what she would do if she had to choose and her first choice was RAI as well. (She has an underactive thyroid too, so could potentially be faced with that decision some day).
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