Celiac Disease Could Be Cause Of Infertility In Women


Celiac disease could be at the root of some women’s problems with infertility, according to Indian researchers.

Women who have yet to attribute a cause for their infertility should be screened for celiac disease, according to Dr. Govind Makharia at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Though Makharia admitted that there isn’t strong evidence for attributing infertility to celiac disease, there are many correlations.

“There are many anecdotal experiences where women with infertility have conceived after being diagnoses with celiac disease and put on a gluten free diet,” Makharia wrote.

About one in 100 people have celiac disease, which means they cannot consume wheat, barley, or rye because their immune response leads to intestinal damage. During Makharai’s study, his team found that women with infertility were 3.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than women who had no trouble conceiving. The group studied some 449 women from three separate studies.

For women with no known cause of infertility, the connection was even stronger. These women were six times more likely to have celiac disease.

"Celiac disease has been claimed to be the most common cause of unexplained infertility and these results support that conclusion," Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said.

Celiac disease is not always recognized in women with fertility issues, since ob-gyns are reluctant to explore rare conditions before simply sending a woman to an endocrinologist. Now, Makharai is encouraging ob-gyns to consider blood tests during a woman’s visit to rule out the disease.

Though the study has made progress toward uncovering potential reasons for infertility, Makharai admitted that the finding is limited in its validity since the number of women studied was small.

Source: WTAQ / Photo Credit: Flickr


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