A new study led by Govind Makharia, a professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has found that celiac disease may be linked to infertility. This comes after researchers examined a series of previously published studies, examining celiac disease and its association with infertility, according to Reuters.
“There isn’t strong evidence to say that celiac disease causes infertility, but there are many anecdotal experiences where women with infertility have conceived after being diagnosed with celiac disease and put on a gluten free diet,” Makharia told the news source.
After analyzing the collection of studies, the team determined that women with infertility were 3.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than women who didn’t have issues conceiving. Celiac disease is not always immediately recognized in women with fertility challenges because they are typically sent to endocrinologists to explore hormonal issues.
“The issue of celiac disease as a cause of infertility has remained a debatable issue,” Makharia continued. “The pooling of data from all the eligible studies in this meta-analysis now brings forth reasonable evidence to support screening.”
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease results in the body attacking the small intestine after being exposed to gluten. These attacks can damage the villi within the intestine, which promotes nutrient absorption.
People with a first-degree relative with the disease have a 10 percent risk of developing the condition themselves. Approximately 1 in 100 people globally are impacted by celiac disease.
Celiac Disease and Infertility
There are a number of factors that may impact your chances of conception. Age, diet, stress and hormonal changes may all contribute to infertility. However, certain studies have suggested that celiac disease may also be a factor.
For example, a study published by physicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital found that women with celiac disease are four times higher of infertility and recurrent spontaneous abortion than the general population. There is also an ongoing study in Italy that suggests that celiac disease may impact the fertility of women.
However, it’s in your best interest to speak to your physician about your health risks and complications that could impact your ability to conceive. Whether you have celiac disease or a history of the condition in your family, your doctor can screen you for these complications.
Additionally, there are several options available to you if you find that you are infertile. A physician can discuss the alternatives with you and your family as you look to welcome a little bundle of joy.
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