Celiac Disease and Infertility

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Playing Can Celiac Disease Affect Fertility?

Alexis and Gabe first appeared on The Doctors in September 2014, when they shared that they had been trying to get pregnant since getting married two years earlier. At the time, Alexis explained that she already had undergone five rounds of Clomid, an oral medication that stimulates hormone production, as well as one insemination and two rounds of in-vitro fertilization, a procedure in which an egg and sperm are combined in a lab and then transferred to the uterus. Unfortunately, Alexis has had two miscarriages. 

Determined to become parents, Alexis and Gabe have since sought additional opinions from new doctors and even turned to their nearest bookstore to learn how Alexis’ diet could be affecting the quality of her eggs. Alexis says that the book, It Starts With the Egg, was very helpful for her, since the author, Rebecca Fett, also struggled with infertility before researching ways to increase the quality of her eggs.

“You don’t really know what it’s like unless you’ve walked in these infertile shoes,” Alexis says.

When she met with Rebecca Fett, the author recommended that Alexis get tested for Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can damage the lining of the small intestine and prevent the absorption of certain foods. While typically associated with digestive issues, OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains that Celiac disease can also affect fertility in both men and women. Often, she says, people may not realize they have Celiac disease, as the only symptom they present with is infertility.

While they await the results of the Celiac test, Gabe and Alexis say they have already registered with an adoption agency and are currently in the home study phase of the adoption process.

“At the end of the day, Gabe and I just want to be parents, and I don’t think it means you necessarily have to give birth to a child in order to be a mother,” Alexis explains.