Celiac disease linked to infertility

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, finding the underlying cause of your infertility is often a very long and trying process.  Long considered a “female issue” infertility issues are now considered from a couple’s perspective.  Recent research indicates that men and women alike share the root causes of infertility.  One third of infertility issues are related to female reproductive problems.  One third of infertility issues are related to male reproductive issues.  The remaining one third of infertility cases result from unknown causes or a combination of males and female infertility issues.

If you suffer from celiac disease, recent research is shedding light on the link between celiac disease and infertility related problems.

Celiac disease

A person with celiac disease suffers from a damaged lining of the small intestine due to ingestion of wheat products. The fine lining in the small intestine absorbs vital nutrients from food.  Damage to this lining causes a wide variety of medical problems including rashes, IBS, malnutrition and much more. Science has long-ignored any correlation between celiac disease and infertility.  However, new research is pointing to a link between the two.

Infertility Studies

For more than ten years, international researchers have studied the possible link between celiac disease and unexplained fertility issues. Their discoveries may offer viable solutions for many couples suffering from infertility. Some surprising discoveries include research from Philadelphia where doctors found the number of recurrent spontaneous abortion was four times higher among celiac patients.  This discovery prompted new protocols encouraging doctors to routinely screen for celiac disease in patients suffering unexplained infertility or RSAB.

In Finland, researchers determined that 4.1% of infertile women suffer from celiac disease.  While more research is still needed to develop a firm hypothesis on the exact correlation between celiac disease and infertility, many leading researchers believe that unmanaged celiac disease leads to a shorter reproductive cycle and early menopause.

Early reports from a study conducted in Turin, Italy suggest that celiac disease rates are higher in women with unexplained infertility than in the general population. Additional study findings demonstrate that celiac disease is also responsible for reduced birth weight, increased risk for abortion and diminished breast-feeding time.

If you believe that you may have the symptoms for celiac disease, please see your physician before taking any action.  If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you will need to consider changing to a gluten-free diet.  Changing to a gluten free diet is challenging, especially since there are so many hidden sources. Even some medications contain gluten.

If you are trying to get pregnant and believe that celiac disease may be a contributing factor to your infertility issues, we encourage you to visit a fertility specialist who can help recommend specialists to diagnose your specific problem and get to the root of your infertility issues.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/
http://www.celiac.com
http://www.celiaccentral.org

Article edited by Patrick Goodness, is derived from the work of Nate Curtis, author of dozens of health articles and the special health report “It’s Your Body, You Can Die If You Want To!”