If you have been struggling to get pregnant and are also obese, losing weight with weight loss surgery may help give you a boost of your 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. Since PCOS is more common among women who are obese, it is often linked to obesity. Recent studies show that not just weight loss, in general, helps women with PCOS get a boost in their fertility, but also due to how your hormone levels are changed followed bariatric procedures like gastric bypass surgery.
Obesity and Infertility
There are multiple reasons why obesity has such an adverse effect on fertility, which depend 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, which is often remedies by weight loss, such as through 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 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 with weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass, and those who did not. What 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 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. While 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 being surveyed for this study had become 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. While losing weight does have a positive impact for many people, the cause of their fertility problems is more important to find out first. If the cause is from being overweight, such as PCOS-related or due to hormonal imbalances from obesity, the weight loss surgery, and the resulting weight loss can have a positive impact on fertility.
Before you jump into getting weight loss surgery for improving your 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 and 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. Your nutrition also needs to be monitored closely, being 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 to be sure 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 how it can change your body to best deal with pregnancy after weight loss surgery.
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 correct their fertility with bariatric surgery choose gastric bypass, which creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach where your food is stored. 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, as this gives your body plenty of time to lose weight and recover from the procedure.