Fertility and Sterility published an article on a hot topic – does Celiac Disease impact IVF conception rates?
There is little information on the correlation of infertility, miscarriage, gluten free diet and the risk of IgA/Celiac Disease.
The below research article did an amazing job of analyzing the topic of IgA markers/Celiac Disease, gluten free diet and conception rates IVF cycles.
To briefly explain IgA – IgA antibodies are found in the mucous membranes of the lungs, sinuses, stomach, and intestines. When IgA markers are high, it indicates an issue with your immune system potentially causing digestive symptoms.
The study was large – 995 women (undergoing IVF) were IgA tested for Celiac Disease and answered a questionnaire about their diets.
In the study group, 968 women went to egg retrieval. 28 (of the 968) woman tested positive for IgA/Celiac Disease – 3% of the study population – which is roughly the same percentage of women in the general public. There is no correlation of IgA markers/Celiac Disease in woman seeking fertility treatments.
Other interesting factors:
• IVF success did not significantly differ between seropositive and seronegative woman. In otherwise, there is no correlation between IgA markers and women undergoing IVF.
• Adherence to a gluten free diet did not affect success rates for pregnancy. This study indicates a gluten free diet in the IVF population is not necessary for IVF success. Though a gluten free diet does have an impact on the quality of life for women with Celiac Disease.
• In addition, there is no correlation between reported Celiac Disease like symptoms and testing positive for the disorder. Physical digestive symptoms are not an indicator for Celiac Disease or an autoimmune disorder.
• The majority of the 968 clients consumed gluten.
• Interestingly, 28 clients, who tested positive for Celiac Disease, 25 consumed a gluten diet. There was no difference in IVF success for the 28 clients.
The only downside to the study, it did not pertain to natural conception. It only followed, women undergoing IVF.
I believe (especially in the holistic industry) there is too much focus on being “gluten free”. As I mentioned in a previous article, I’m not a big proponent of the gluten free diet.
What I discovered over the years?
• Gluten free diet is hard and restrictive. Gosh, eating out becomes a burden. Enjoying all the foods which make us happy becomes a void.
• Problems conceiving – already feels unfruitful and confining. Adding strong dietary restrictions can enhance the feeling that life is inadequate.
• Gluten free doesn’t guarantee an improvement in a women’s fertility.
• The combination of restrictive, confining and no guarantees equals MORE STRESS. No women trying to conceive should be adding more stress to her life.
Now, if you eat a gluten free diet and FEEL better, then continue. If you have digestive problems that respond to a gluten free diet, then continue. Otherwise I recommend Mediterranean diet.
Looking to improve your fertility? I, Samantha Jacobs, L.Ac., have successfully treated infertility for 15 years. I am here to support, guide and inform you to make the best decisions for yourself and your situation. Try acupuncture and Chinese herbs to change your health, wellbeing and fertility.
Celiac disease is not more prevalent in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization and does not affect reproductive outcomes with or without treatment: a large prospective cohort study
Caroline R. Juneau, M.D., Jason M. Franasiak, MD, Linnea R. Goodman, M.D., Diego Marin, M.S., Katherine Scott, B.S., Scott J. Morin, M.D., Shelby A. Neal, M.D., Jeffrey E. Juneau, M.D., Richard T. Scott, M.D.
To study the prevalence of celiac disease in the infertile population undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and assess outcomes.
Prospective cohort study.
A single infertility center from January 2016 to March 2017.
Women 18–45 years of age participating in IVF.
Patients had serum tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and endomysial (EMA) IgA testing to screen for celiac disease and completed a 10-question “yes or no” survey to assess their medical history, previous testing, dietary habits, and pertinent symptoms.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
IVF cycle outcomes were compared between seronegative and seropositive patients.
Of 1,000 patients enrolled, 995 completed serologic screening and 968 underwent oocyte retrieval. Eighteen patients screened positive for both tTG and EMA (1.8%) and 10 additional patients (1.0%) screened positive for one of the two antibodies. The number of mature oocytes retrieved, fertilization rates, and blastulation rates were equivalent between seronegative and seropositive patients. There were 987 patients who completed the questionnaire (98.7%), and 84 reported being gluten free (8.5%). Those who reported being gluten free were no more likely to be antibody positive than the general population. Furthermore, a low-gluten diet was not associated with markers of ovarian reserve, oocytes retrieved, fertilization, blastulation, sustained implantation and pregnancy loss rates.
The prevalence of seropositive celiac disease was consistent with that of the general population (2.8%). Patients who were seropositive for celiac disease–related antibodies had outcomes equivalent to seronegative patients, and patients with a gluten-free diet did not have improved outcomes.