Fertility Blog

Possible Impact of Celiac Disease on Unexplained Infertility

by Dr. Susan Sarajari

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease of the digestive tract that interferes with the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Patients with celiac disease can not tolerate gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease ingest gluten, an immunologically mediated inflammatory response results that damages the mucosa of the intestine resulting in maldigestion and malabsorption.

A recent study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine showed increased rates of celiac disease in women with unexplained infertility. The study evaluated 191 patients and found a prevalence rate of 5.9% in women with unexplained infertility. These findings suggest that dietary measures, specifically a gluten-free diet, could improve chances of conception in certain women with unexplained infertility. However, due to the small number of patients who completed the study, these results need to be validated with larger randomized controlled trials.

“Increased Celiac Disease Prevalence In Women With Unexplained Infertility”.
19 Aug 2011. http//:www.medicalnewstoday.com.