How bariatric surgery affects fertility
A recent systematic review looked at multiple previous studies and published articles to determine what effects bariatric surgery had on pregnancy and fertility. Bariatric procedures continue to rise for the general population and can be a great aid in increasing health. Provided that women of child-bearing age continue to take their prescribed supplements and do not attempt to get pregnant too soon after surgery, it has been found that bariatric surgery can lead to better ovulation and healthier pregnancies.
Highlights of the report include:
-an improvement of ovulation after surgery
-a BMI in a healthier range, leading to a reduction in risks of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
-a BMI in a healthier range, leading to a reduction on miscarriage
It is important to note that it is not recommended that women attempt to get pregnant for several month after their surgery. The body needs time to heal and adjust. Guidelines range from country to country, but most suggest waiting 12-24 months after surgery to consider pregnancy. However, some women who may not have been fertile previously, experience "spontaneous pregnancy" within the first year after bariatric surgery due to "higher level of sex hormone binding globulin and follicular stimulating hormone and reduction in androgens level."
The article also reminds patients that good supplementation is crucial for the patient's own health and the health of the patient's baby. Patients who remain consistent with their supplements will have better pregnancies and will often be more successful with breastfeeding.
You can learn more about this review by reading the full journal article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2049080121009882
If you have questions about a bariatric procedure, or you've had a bariatric procedure and wish to become pregnant in the future, please talk to your doctor. You want to ensure the best possible outcomes for yourself and for your baby, so please speak with your doctors, surgeon, and your OBGYN to ensure you are on the best track for a healthy baby.