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New study finds no special fertility risks for women with celiac disease

A recent study may provide welcome relief to women with celiac disease who are hoping to have children in the future. According to the study, women with celiac disease are no more likely to have fertility problems than women without the disorder. Celiac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, which can cause severe symptoms and damage to the small intestine.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom analyzed the records of more than 2 million women in the UK to compare the rates of fertility problems in groups of women with, and without, celiac disease. They found that overall, women with celiac disease did not have a greater likelihood of reporting fertility problems before or after being diagnosed with the disorder. Although women diagnosed with celiac between the ages of 25 and 29 had more fertility problems than those in the same age group without the disease, the difference was relatively small (1.5 of every 100 vs. 1 of every 100). According to lead researcher Nafeesa Dhalwani, this represented only a small increase in the number of women consulting with fertility problems. She concluded:

“Despite inconsistent findings from small studies, concern has been raised that celiac disease may cause infertility. Most evidence is from specialist infertility treatment clinics, which is unlikely to represent most women with celiac disease…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.”

Read more about celiac disease here.

Read more about the study here.

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