Men who suffer from Coleiac disease – an auto-immune condition where the immune system reacts to gluten found in wheat, barley and rye – don’t need to worry about whether the intolerance affects their fertility.
An extensive study in Sweden has shown that men who have the condition are no less fertile than those who don’t.
Scientists conducted the research after some earlier studies showed lower fertility in women with Coleiac disease. To manage the disease, people follow strict gluten-free diets.
In the Swedish study, scientists tracked a large database of men with Coleiac disease and men without the condition for a number of years to monitor how many children they had.
Combined with information about their medical backgrounds, it showed that men diagnosed with Coeliac disease were no more likely to have fertility issues than those without the disease.
More research is still needed however to examine the effects of the condition on women. Whilst some studies have shown that fertility is affected in women with Coleiac disease, it isn’t known if the reason is because of changes in the body as a result of the disease, or if women are delaying motherhood due to concerns about health and nutrition.
Usually, women who have Coleiac disease can take longer to become pregnant. It is thought that the condition affects 1 in every 100 people in the UK.
Last updated: 7th March 2011