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    Increased Prevalence of Celiac in People with Unexplained Infertility


    Diana Gitig Ph.D.
    Image Caption: Photo: CC - Ed Yourdon

    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.


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    Photo: CC - Ed YourdonStudy participants were recruited from the population who came to Columbia’s Center for Women’s Reproductive Care to deal with their infertility issues, which they had been coping with for at least a year. One hundred eight-eight women, ages 25-39, volunteered to participate in the study. They underwent serological screening for tissue transglutaminase (tTG IgA) and endomysial antibodies (EMA IgA), and measurement of total IgA and both IgA and IgG antigliadin antibodies was done to control for the potential IgA deficiency in some individuals. Four of the 188 patients enrolled in the study were diagnosed with celiac disease, making the prevalence of celiac disease in this population 2.1%. Yet a subgroup analysis of the prevalence of celiac disease in women with unexplained fertility revealed a prevalence of 5.9%, which achieves statistical significance.

    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.

    Source:

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  • About Me

    Diana received her B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and then a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Genetics from Cornell. Now she is a freelance science writer and editor in White Plains, New York.  Her son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, at the age of five, and she has been keeping her family healthy by feeding them gluten free treats ever since.

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    Scott Adams
    Hyperprolactinaemia is seen in 25% of celiac patients, which causes impotence and loss of libido. This quote was taken from an abstract at the following cite: Dig Dis, 12(3):186-190 1994, May-Jun. The title of the article is Infertility, Obstetric and Gynaecological Problems in Celiac Sprue. Here are some more references:
    Molteni N, Bardella MT, Bianchi PA. Obstetric and gynecological problems in women with untreated celiac sprue. J Clin Gastroenterol 1990; 12: 37-9. Sher KS, Mayberry JF. Female fertility, obstetric and gynaecological history in celiac disease. A case control study. Digestion 1994; 55: 243-6. Sher KS, Jayanthi V, Probert CS, Stewart CR, Mayberry JF. Infertility, obstetric and gynaecological problems in celiac sprue. Dig Dis 1994; 12:186-90. McCann JP, Nicholls DP, Verzin JA. Adult celiac disease presenting with infertility. Ulster Med J 1988; 57: 88-9. Ferguson R, Holmes GKT, Cooke WT. Celiac disease, fertility and pregnancy. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982; 17: 65-8. The good news is that the overwhelming opinion was that adherence to a strict gluten free diet should and would restore fertility if the infertility was a result of celiac disease.

    Diana Gitig Ph.D.
    Celiac.com 07/11/2011 - Is celiac disease associated with infertility? Although some reports suggest that as much of 8% of women with unexplained infertility have celiac disease, others found no correlation between the two conditions. And there is little hard evidence that celiac disease is an actual cause of infertility. To begin to bring some clarity to this issue, Khoshbaten et al. tried to determine the prevalence of celiac disease among couples with unexplained infertility in Iran. Their results are reported in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research.
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    Khoshbaten M, Nejad MR, Farzady L, Sharifi N, Hashemi SH, and Rostami K. Fertility disorder associated with celiac disease in males and females: fact or fiction? J. Obstet. Gynaecol. Res. 2011.

    Jefferson Adams
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    American Journal of Gastroenterology doi: 10.1038 / ajg.2010.425

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