Is Iodine Safe During Pregnancy?

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Dear Dr. Northrup,

I am an acupuncturist specializing in infertility. I have a 35-year-old patient who has a sluggish thyroid and tender breasts three weeks out of the month. After reading your “Top Ten Women’s Health Tips of the Decade” on the Huffington Post, I recommended she take 6 mg of iodine a day. Almost immediately, her breast tenderness cleared up. She also ovulated on day 14 and reported that it was the most powerful ovulation (with lots of cervical mucus) that she has felt in years. My question is this: How much iodine is safe for her to take in pregnancy? I suspect the iodine is actually helping her thyroid, and I don’t want her to go off of it, but I also don’t want to cause problems with a future pregnancy.

Thank you – R. B.

Dear R. B.,

Many, many women do not get anywhere near the optimal dose of iodine, which many experts suggest is 12.5 mg per day or even higher. There is very good research suggesting that optimal iodine in pregnancy is very neuroprotective for the fetus. A dose of 6 mg per day is absolutely fine.

I’m so glad that your patient has done so well on this. It confirms the research and my own experience. By the way, the ovary, as well as the breast and thyroid, also has an active thyroid pump, hence the improved ovulation.

Most sincerely – C.N.

Last Updated: February 16, 2010

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. Christina Henke
    5 years ago

    I have been encouraged to seek out a reproductive immunologist — Dr. Allen Beer clinic in CA, or, Dr. Jeffery Braverman in NY. I am 38 Had a septum removed a year ago and had a miscarriage one month ago– my fourth one. Would you recommend one over the other? Thank you Christina

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