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Gluten Intolerance Causes Infertility

This study demonstrates how gluten sensitivity can contribute to infertility and other obstetrical and gynecological problems. Celiac patients who were not compliant with a gluten free diet presented with “delayed menarche, secondary amenorrhea, a higher percentage of spontaneous abortions, anemia and hypoalbuminemia.” Gluten free diet compliance led to normal pregnancies. The author of the study goes on to say that gluten sensitivity should be screened for in women presenting with reproductive disorders.


J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Aug;38(7):567-74.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

In 1997 it was estimated that more than 6 million people had fertility problems. According to the CDC, the number is on the rise with more than 7 million people affected in 2009. Ask any farmer, and they will tell you that the animals diet is extremely important for reproduction success. Ask most doctors about the impact that nutrition has on fertility and you will be told that nutrition doesn’t make much difference. Why is that? Simple – Nutrition is not taught in medical school. Fertility doctors focus on non-natural means to induce pregnancy – from the use of hormones to implantation of petri dish fertilized eggs. We know that children born of couples with fertility problems have a higher incidence of allergies, asthma, developmental problems. This issue poses serious ethical concerns about non-natural treatment options. Is it right to artificially induce pregnancy when the body won’t conceive by natural means? How will this in turn impact the health of the new baby? We know that the two most common causes of infertility are pelvic inflammatory disorders (PID) and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Both have been linked to gluten sensitivity. Additionally, gluten intolerance can contribute to low sperm count and low motility in men. Screening for celiac disease, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (AKA – gluten syndrome) should be the top priority in infertile couples. Focusing on nutritional deficiencies should also be a priority as 100’s of studies have been published on the impact of vitamin and mineral deficiency on fetal development and health outcomes of newborns. The causes of infertility should be better investigated on a case by case basis before inducing pregnancy. If the soon to be parents are not healthy enough to conceive, how can they in turn nourish a new life?

Want to know more about the nutritional influences on fertility? Check out this awesome diagram!

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