Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH)



Primary congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is a condition that affects the body’s thyroid gland, a small organ in the lower neck. Individuals with CH are unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, a chemical that is essential for healthy growth and development. If left untreated, CH can cause sluggishness, slow growth, and learning delays. However, if detected early and treatment is begun, individuals with CH often can lead healthy lives. Most babies with CH show signs at 3 to 4 weeks after birth. Early signs of CH include yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), sleeping longer or more often, constipation, weak muscle tone (hypotonia), swelling around the eyes, swollen tongue, cool, pale skin, large belly with a navel that sticks out, a hoarse-sounding cry, and delayed growth and weight gain. 

Condition Type:

Core Conditions


In the United States, about 1 in every 3,000 to 4,000 babies is born with congenital hypothyroidism (CH). Twice as many females as males are affected by CH.

More Information for Parents:
Also known as:
  • CH
  • CHT
  • Congenital myxedema

Core Conditions