Celiac.com 12/20/2011 - There has been some controversy surrounding the idea that there is a higher prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease in people with infertility, with some studies finding it but others not. Most of these studies have been performed in Europe; only two to date have taken place in the United States. Peter Green’s group at Columbia recently tried to establish the actual prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease in the infertile population in the United States, to determine if it would make sense to routinely screen a subgroup of infertile patients for celiac disease. Their results are published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
All four women reported suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms before their diagnosis, and they had a significantly increased prevalence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well. The authors admit that this is quite a small sample, and because screening was voluntary, it is also a selected population.
But even so, they suggest that physicians should inquire about GI symptoms when patients present with infertility, and that screening for celiac is appropriate in those with unexplained infertility who complain of gastrointestinal distress. They even go so far as to posit that all women with unexplained infertility be screened for celiac, even if they don’t have gastrointestinal trouble.
All four women conceived within ten months after starting on a gluten free diet, two naturally and two with help. And all of them went on to deliver healthy babies.