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.
Only five infertile subjects and four controls with elevated tissue transglutaminase antibodies agreed to have duodenal mucosal biopsies; the remainder had no gastrointestinal complaints or other symptoms, so they opted out of the endoscopy. According to the biopsy, celiac disease was indicated in three cases of unexplained infertility compared to one case in the control group.
Previous studies have demonstrated that men with celiac disease have an increased incidence of hypogonadism, sexual dysfunction, and poor semen quality. Women with celiac disease can have major menstrual problems. Systemic diseases like celiac can exert subtle effects on the reproductive system in both genders. A gluten free diet can alleviate infertility if it is caused by nutritional imbalances due to celiac disease, such as malabsorption of zinc, selenium, iron, and folate.
This Iranian study, like previous studies in Finland, Italy, Israel, and the US, thus seems to come down on the side of celiac disease, as measured by serological markers, being more significantly frequent among couples with unexplained infertility than in controls.