We all have heard that untreated celiac disease can lead to infertility problems, but a new and bigger study has brought women with celiac disease some good news.
Before we talk about the good news, allows us to clarify what infertility truly means, so there are no misunderstandings:
“Infertility is the inability of a woman or man to contribute to conception. Many experts define infertility as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages are also considered to be infertile. Nearly 6.7 million women in the US have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term.” (Beyond Celiac)
Now, let’s see what the experts have to say about the connection between infertility and untreated celiac disease!
The lead study author Nafeesa N. Dhalwani from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom said, “Despite inconsistent findings from small studies, concern has been raised that celiac disease may cause infertility. Celiac patients should rest assured, our findings indicate that women with celiac disease do not report fertility problems more often than women without celiac disease.”
The researchers conducted a large population-based cohort study with over two million women of childbearing age in the U.K. The researchers compared rates of fertility problems in women with celiac disease to the ones in women without the condition. The researchers found that women with celiac disease do not have a bigger likelihood to of experiencing fertility problems, either prior or after their celiac disease diagnosis.
The reason why other studies showed a relationship between untreated celiac disease and infertility is because previous studies were quite small. This is the biggest study of its kind, as it followed women for over 20 years.