Povidone–iodine (PVP-I) has been widely used as an antiseptic agent during invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis. Women have been reported of thyroid dysfunction after simple exposure to PVP-I. We studied the effect on thyroid function and urinary iodine excretion after a single topical application of PVP-I in 31 women who had a miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy. PVP-I is absorbed through the skin and the vaginal mucosa, resulting in a sudden increase in the urinary excretion of iodine and a short-term variation in concentrations of thyroid hormones in maternal serum. This metabolic effect could have consequences for the embryo and the fetus during crucial stages of development.