Celiac.com 03/04/2015 - Women with infertility face higher rates of celiac disease, according to a recent data analysis.

Until now, data connecting celiac disease and infertility has been contradictory. There are currently no recommendations regarding celiac disease screening in female patients with infertility.

Photo: CC--MeaganA research team recently conducted a meta-analysis to find out whether women with infertility have a higher risk for celiac disease. The team included Prashant Singh MBBS; Shubhangi Arora MBBS; Suman Lal MD; Tor A. Strand MD, PhD; and Govind K. Makharia MD, DM, DNB, MNAMS.

To source information for their analysis, the team performed a literature search using the MeSH keywords "celiac disease," "gluten," and "infertility." They based celiac diagnosis on positive patient serology and biopsies showing villous atrophy. The team extracted celiac disease data in 3 groups of women with "all cause" infertility, unexplained infertility, and a group of control subjects. They then calculated pooled odds ratio (OR) and prevalence, with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Of 105 relevant studies, they included five studies for calculation of pooled odds ratio. Four additional studies, where data on controls were not available, were also considered for calculation of pooled rates of celiac disease.

The analysis showed that women with infertility had 3.5 times higher odds of having celiac disease compared with the control group (OR=3.5; 95% CI, 1.3-9; P<0.01). Similarly, odds for celiac disease in women with "unexplained infertility" were 6 times greater than for control subjects (OR=6; 95% CI, 2.4-14.6).

Of 884 women with infertility, 20 had celiac disease indicating a pooled prevalence of 2.3% (95% CI, 1.4-3.5).

Of 623 women with "unexplained infertility," 20 had celiac disease. The pooled prevalence of celiac disease in women with unexplained infertility was 3.2% (95% CI, 2-4.9).

Celiac disease is more common in women with what is called "all-cause" infertility and "unexplained" infertility, than in general population.

Infertility and unexplained infertility can point to hidden celiac disease.

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