Increased celiac disease prevalence in women with unexplained infertility

A recent study demonstrated increased rates of celiac disease in women who present with unexplained infertility. Published in the May-June 2011 issue of The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, the study evaluated 191 female patients presenting with infertility. Each participant underwent serologic screening for celiac disease as well as routine infertility testing. The 4 patients who had positive serum test results were advised to seek evaluation with a gastroenterologist. All 4 patients were confirmed to have celiac disease. They then underwent nutritional counseling to change over to a gluten-free diet.

Among the 188 patients who completed testing, the prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease was 2.1%. While this rate was not significantly higher than the expected 1.3%, the diagnosis of celiac disease in women with unexplained infertility was found to be significantly higher at 5.9% (3 of 51 women). Interestingly, all 4 patients found to have celiac disease conceived within a year of diagnosis.

Though the study numbers are small, the findings suggest that, at least for some women with , dietary measures may help bolster fertility. "Diagnosing celiac disease in an infertile woman would be particularly beneficial if the low-cost (and low-risk) therapy of pursuing a gluten-free diet could improve chances for conception," says lead author Janet Choi, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Center for Women's Reproductive Care at Columbia University. Co-author Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, said that these results should be added to the increasing body of knowledge concerning the impact of undiagnosed on women's reproductive health.

More information: Choi JM, Lebwohl B, Wang J, Lee SK, Murray JA, Sauer MV, Green PH. Increased prevalence of celiac disease in patients with unexplained infertility in the United States. J Reprod Med. 2011 May-Jun;56(5-6):199-203.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds celiac patients can eat hydrolyzed wheat flour

Jan 19, 2011

Baked goods made from hydrolyzed wheat flour are not toxic to celiac disease patients, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Associ ...

Is biopsy avoidable on diagnosis of celiac disease?

Jul 08, 2010

A research team from Argentina explored the accuracy of all available serological markers in diagnosing the disorder in the theoretical context of avoiding the invasive intestinal biopsy. They found that the DGP/tTG Screen ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

12 hours ago

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

User comments