Mondays are for happy news, don’t you think?
We’ve spoken at length before about the various studies showing that women with celiac disease are at a greater risk for fertility problems. And we’ve all heard the anecdotes of individual women who — after years of expensive, emotionally-draining, unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant — give up gluten and immediately have a bun in the oven (pun intended).
So, OK, that’s all still true – but there have also been less-conclusive studies, and so some researchers in Sweden and Italy set out to determine what’s actually going on.
They took a look at data from almost 11,500 Swedish women aged 18-45, with biopsy-proven celiac disease. These women were compared to a larger cohort of “normal” Swedish women and fertility, measured by number of children, was examined.
Researchers found that the women with celiac disease actually had normal fertility rates, up to a point. That point? Two years prior to diagnosis. To put that in perspective, the average celiac case is only diagnosed after 6-10 years of illness, according to the NFCA.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, women with celiac disease were slightly more fertile five years after diagnosis than their age-matched counterparts.
For a good overview of infertility and celiac disease, I like the NFCA’s page best; it also has a list of outside resources if you scroll to the bottom.
Do you know of any women whose infertility was remedied by a gluten-free diet? How long did it take them to figure out that gluten was the culprit?