If you have been struggling to get pregnant and are also obese, losing weight with weight loss surgery may help improve fertility, especially if you have certain conditions. Particularly, if you are infertile due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). With PCOS, you have a difference in hormone levels that make it difficult to get pregnant on your own.
PCOS is linked to obesity as it is more common in obese women. Studies prove that losing weight drastically helps with PCOS and increases fertility. This is because how hormone levels are changed following significant weight loss. As a result, bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery boosts these hormone levels and improve fertility rates.
Obesity and Infertility
There are multiple reasons why obesity has such an adverse effect on fertility. Typically depending on the woman and the conditions she has. PCOS is a big reason, but not the only one. Many women who are obese have an imbalance in hormone production, which causes her not to ovulate on time, or not at all. This makes it harder to get pregnant and causes fertility issues. The body becomes stressed with an over or underproduction of hormones.
These production changes resolved by losing weight with weight loss surgery. It is extremely common for women with hormone irregularities, whether from PCOS or other conditions, to have a hard time getting pregnant. It is also common for your fertility to begin restoring itself when you start losing weight and releasing all of this extra stress and pressure on the rest of your body.
Study of PCOS and Weight Loss Surgery
The study that looked at obese women, fertility and weight loss surgery was with the ladies that were suffering from infertility as a result of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Obesity is one of the more common symptoms of PCOS, not necessarily the cause.
The study observed women who had PCOS and either lost weight or did not with weight loss surgery. They found is that the fertility of the women who had weight loss surgery was considerably better than those who either didn’t lose weight in the same time frame or lost weight on their own or through other means. The study’s researchers believed this wasn’t due to the weight loss itself but from the hormonal changes.
How Bariatric Surgery Helped Boost Their Fertility
Researchers who are doing studies about the benefits of weight loss surgery on medical conditions and diseases are now adding fertility among patients with PCOS to the list. Researchers don’t believe the surgery is a cure for PCOS-related infertility, but that the results show a significant improvement.
One reason for this is because they feel if the women started gaining back the weight they lost after surgery, their PCOS might very well return. Hormone changes were one of the big reasons their fertility improved after the surgery. This doesn’t mean the weight loss itself wasn’t always helping them with their fertility.
The results of this research study were released at the American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery in Orlando on June 15th. After the surgery, 6 of 20 women surveyed became pregnant, although they had been infertile for years. Seventeen of the women had regained their normal menstrual cycles after the surgery, signifying a return of their normal fertility.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Always the Answer?
No, weight loss surgery does not help everyone who is suffering from infertility, whether man or woman. Losing weight does have a positive impact on many people. Although, the cause of their fertility problems is more important to find out first. Weight loss surgery will help if the cause of infertility is from being overweight. This includes such as PCOS-related or due to hormonal imbalances from obesity.
Before you jump into getting weight loss surgery to improve fertility, you should first visit learn about infertility and the causes.
What You Should Know About Weight Loss and Pregnancy
If you decide to get weight loss surgery to help improve your fertility, it is best to wait at least 19 months after the surgery before you start trying to get pregnant. This gives you enough time to allow your weight to stabilize. Give your body sufficient time to recover from the physical changes it goes through. There is a period of rapid weight loss after weight loss surgery that isn’t healthy while you are pregnant.
Nutrition and Vitamins
Your nutrition also needs to be monitored closely. Be sure you get a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, including B12, calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Most women that become pregnant after weight loss surgery need to see a nutritionist. This ensures that they are getting adequate nutrition. You also want to face the fact that you will probably have a cesarean section delivery, due to the different changes in your body. Lastly, let your OBGYN know about the type of weight loss surgery you had and what that means. It helps to have a doctor that knows about weight loss surgery and types of bariatric procedures. Then your doctors understand how your body changes and how to best deal with pregnancy after weight loss surgery.
Gastric Bypass to Improve Fertility
If you have a condition like PCOS and know you have fertility issues, losing weight with weight loss surgery is a great option. You are going to stabilize your hormone levels by losing your excess weight as well as with the surgery itself. Most women who want to improve fertility with bariatric surgery choose gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass procedure creates a small pouch for food storage at the top of your stomach.
This allows you to eat less and get fuller faster. Remember that you need to wait at least 18 months after the surgery to try to get pregnant. This gives your body plenty of time to lose weight and recover from the procedure.