No gluten, no babies?
Could having an intolerance for gluten affect fertility in men and women?
An intolerance for gluten can be caused by a condition called celiac disease. This condition means that the immune system reacts to gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye - causing damage to the small intestine and keeping it from absorbing nutrients.

"Several earlier studies have shown lower fertility in women with celiac disease, and one could then suspect that infertility would occur also in men with celiac disease," said Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, from rebro University Hospital in Sweden.

In the current study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers tracked about 7,000 Swedish men who had been diagnosed with celiac disease and 32,000 similarly aged men without celiac disease.

By 2008, men with celiac disease had fathered close to 10,000 children, for an average of 1.4 children each. Men without celiac disease had about 42,000 children, or 1.3 children per man.

Both before and after celiac disease was diagnosed, men who were ultimately diagnosed with the condition did not suffer from infertility any more than men without celiac disease, as measured by their number of children. At the end of the study, about 35% of men with and without celiac disease had not had any children.

Women with celiac disease

While celiac disease may not affect the fertility of men, there is more research to suggest that women with celiac disease are more likely to suffer from infertility than women without celiac disease.

It's not known, whether that difference is entirely because of changes in the body as a result of celiac disease, or if women with celiac disease are more likely to put off trying to have a baby because of concerns about health and nutrition, according to the authors.

Several studies have found that celiac women who do achieve fertilization, often have higher chances of miscarriages and poor growth of the foetus.

At the very least, the results are a positive sign for men with celiac disease hoping to have children.

Do you have a gluten intolerance? Share with us below.

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