Many bariatric patients are women in their reproductive years, and understanding how bariatric surgery will affect your ability to become pregnant is a significant part of determining if bariatric surgery is the best choice for achieving your weight loss goals. A frustrating reality that many obese women face is infertility. As a woman gains weight, disruptions in reproductive health and hormonal imbalances can cause infertility and difficulty carrying a pregnancy full term. While bariatric surgery does not come without risks, researchers have discovered that once the patient’s weight lowers and hormones balance after bariatric surgery, her likelihood of becoming pregnant improves. Before becoming pregnant after weight loss surgery, CHRIAS suggests following these guidelines:
Wait 12-18 Months Before Becoming Pregnant
Waiting 12-18 months to try for a child may seem excessive, but after gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass, your body needs time to heal and your weight needs to stabilize to support enough weight gain and provide enough nutrition for a health pregnancy. Becoming pregnant too early can also result in complications like gastric dumping, internal hernias, small bowel obstructions, or lap-band slippage.
Use Contraceptives Until Given Approval to Become Pregnant
As discussed earlier, some obese patients who could not become pregnant before surgery may discover that they can become pregnant without medical assistance once their weight and hormones have stabilized. Even if you did not need to use contraceptives previously, our Delaware weight loss surgery clinic recommends using multiple forms to eliminate the possibility of unintentionally becoming pregnant too early.
Meet with Your Surgeon
We recommend meeting with one of our three board-certified surgeons to review your health and to discuss the treatment or prevention of any possible complications you may experience during pregnancy.
Test for Nutritional Deficiencies
Despite taking supplements, after bariatric surgery your body can become deficient in certain essential nutrients. Before attempting pregnancy, it is important to meet with a nutritionist to review your nutrition levels for possible deficiencies. If you discover deficiencies, it is important to re-build nutrition levels in your body before pregnancy to support the healthy development of a baby.
Researchers have found that pregnancy for morbidly obese women is more risky than for bariatric patients at a healthy weight, however both pregnancies should be treated as high-risk and monitored more carefully than low-risk pregnancies. At CHRIAS, our goal is to help you understand your options associated with bariatric surgery. To learn more about bariatric surgery in Delaware, sign up for a free weight loss surgery seminar, or contact us at 302-892-9900.