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  • Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Disease Higher in Women with Unexplained Infertility

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC- sean dreilinger

    Celiac.com 09/30/2011 - A new study indicates that women who suffer unexplained infertility suffer higher rates of undiagnosed celiac disease than those who do not experience unexplained infertility.

    Photo: CC- sean dreilinger The study appeared in the May-June issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.



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    Using serologic screening for celiac disease as well as routine infertility testing, Janet M. Choi, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, led a study team that included B. Lebwohl, J. Wang, S. K. Lee, J. A. Murray, M. V. Sauer and P. H. R. Green.

    Together, they assessed 191 women with infertility. The researchers confirmed four women with positive serum test results to have celiac disease. That's 2.1 percent of the 188 patients who completed testing. The women received nutritional counseling to adopt a gluten-free diet.

    Now, this prevalence rate was not significantly higher than the expected 1.3 percent seen in the general population.

    However, three cases of undiagnosed celiac disease were seen among the 51 women with unexplained fertility, for a significantly higher prevalence rate of 5.9 percent.

    Interestingly, all four women found to have celiac disease successfully conceived within a year of diagnosis and treatment.

    From these results, the team concludes that women with unexplained infertility face a higher risk of undiagnosed celiac disease. They also suggest that this is a risk factor that can be mitigated, and treated.

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    I had a daughter in July, and we had been trying for 5 years. They told us we'd need medical help to have a baby, so we were starting to get that going, and then we found out that celiac runs in my family. I found out that I have celiac, went gluten free and 6 months later took enzymes for a month. At the end of that month, I got pregnant! I tell everyone I know that if they have unexplained infertility they should get tested for celiac.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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