Can You Get Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery

How Long After Gastric Bypass Surgery Should You Wait To Get Pregnant

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery

Although weight loss can contribute to a healthy pregnancy, you should not rush into getting pregnant after gastric bypass surgery. Your body will go through a great deal of changes from the surgery alone, and its common to be emotional and overwhelmed at times.

Bariatric surgery involves a recovery period, and you have to learn a new way of eating. Major adjustments in your lifestyle have to be made to have the best results. Getting pregnant right after gastric bypass is going to cause more upheaval in your life.

Another concern is the period when you first begin to lose weight. Your rate of weight loss can be rapid in the initial stages following bariatric surgery.

If you become pregnant too soon and experience rapid weight loss, there is the possibility that you and the baby will not receive the proper nourishment needed to thrive during this challenging time.

As a rule of thumb, give yourself at least 18 months after surgerybefore moving forward with plans to become pregnant. This will ensure you can achieve the best outcome after bariatric surgery and have a healthy pregnancy.

Q: How Can Weight Loss Surgery Help Is That Something Across The Board People Would Need In What Instances Would That Make Sense

A: Up to 80% of patients who should undergo weight loss surgery are women, and up to 50% of those have PCOS. So its a really common disorder. We have found that PCOS is associated with infertility. Many women who undergo either medical or surgical weight loss it improves their fertility significantly.

Acog Guidelines On Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Am Fam Physician. 2010 Apr 1 81:905-906.

Guideline source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Literature search described? No

Evidence rating system used? Yes

Available at:

As the prevalence of adult obesity increases in the United States, physicians are more often caring for patients who have undergone or who are considering bariatric surgery. Counseling and treating women who become pregnant after bariatric surgery present unique challenges. Although outcomes are generally good, nutritional and surgical complications can arise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently reviewed the available evidence on pregnancy outcomes after bariatric surgery.

Obesity is associated with reduced fertility, primarily because of oligo-ovulation and anovulation. In women who become pregnant, obesity confers increased risks of gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, and infectious morbidity. Operative morbidity is also increased, and obese women are less likely to have successful vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery.

Rates of congenital anomalies after bariatric surgery are not increased compared with the general population. There may be a trend toward lower birth weights in infants of women who have undergone bariatric surgery maternal weight gain during pregnancy seems to be a predictor of birth weight.

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Pregnancy After Gastric Bypass & Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery has grown in popularity in recent years. There is a whole new generation of women who have had gastric bypass or bariatric weight loss surgery facing new issues regarding pregnancy. Is it possible to still get pregnant after bariatric wright loss surgery? Is pregnancy after weight loss surgery even safe? Learn more about the risks and complications of pregnancy after bariatric surgery below.

Will I Be Able To Get Pregnant After My Surgery

Can I Get Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery?

Many women elect to have a Gastric Sleeve, because their obesity is preventing them from getting pregnant. You may become more fertile as you lose weight. Often, your obesity causes abnormal estrogen levels that can return to normal as you lose weight.

But its important that you wait until its safe for you to be pregnant after your surgery. Your birth control pills may not work around the time of your surgery due to the medication you receive with surgery. Remember to use other methods of birth control and talk with your family physician about this.

You should avoid pregnancy for the first 12 months after surgery due to your rapid weight loss. A pregnancy that occurs soon after weight loss surgery can have severe consequences for both the mother and the baby. Once you are over a year, your risks during pregnancy fall to significantly less than when you were morbidly obese. Your risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are much lower than when you were morbidly obese. If you require a C-section during the delivery, the surgical risk is significantly less once you lose your excess weight.

An advantage of the Gastric Sleeve is that you continue to absorb nutrients normally, so your risk of vitamin deficiency is much less than with a gastric bypass. When all factors are considered, once you have your Sleeve and you have time to get your weight under control, your fertility increases and pregnancy becomes much safer for both mother and baby.

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Infertility: Most Male And Female Patients Cured

Obese men and women are more likely to have fertility problems than their non-obese counterparts .

71.4% of female patients got back to a normal menstrual cycle following bariatric surgery.

The weight lost as a result of bariatric surgery can have a positive impact on fertility for both men and women:

Challenges And Benefits Of Bariatric Surgery Before Pregnancy

Although obesity has become a major health care problem within the last years along with increasing prevalence of BS in women of childbearing age, there is no international consensus about management of pregnancy after BS. Even though BS seems to reduce obesity-related fertility issues and adverse pregnancy outcomes , obstetricians have to consider pregnancy related complications possibly caused by BS .

The standard recommendation of the ACOG for women wishing to conceive after BS is to delay pregnancy for at least 1 to 1.5years after surgery , which is also supported by the obesity management task force of the European Association for the Study of Obesity . During the first post-surgical year a rapid weight loss is to be expected and becoming pregnant in this catabolic time frame could possibly lead to an altered nutritional supply to the growing fetus . However, in contrast to these guidelines one recent study found no evidence supporting this recommendation .

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Bariatric Surgery Birth Control And Pregnancy

In the last 20 years, obesity has been on the rise in the U.S., including among 18-44-year-old women . Despite the stigma associated with obesity, theres growing evidence that its not something people choosemost obese people have tried many, many strategies to lose weight.

There is one effective strategy for losing weight that is becoming more common, known as bariatric or weight loss surgery. This surgery may affect what birth control will work for you. It can also have negative effects on a pregnancy in the months following the surgerybut in the long term it supports healthier pregnancy. Heres what you need to know.

What is bariatric surgery?

Looking back overmore than 15 years of studiesabout bariatric surgery, we can say that it is a safe and effective way to help people lose weight. It can also improve other conditions related to excess weight, like type 2 diabetes. There are three common bariatric surgery procedures:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding are known as restrictive because they decrease the size of the stomach and the amount of food needed to feel full.

  • Gastric bypass makes the stomach smaller and rearranges part of the small intestine to change the way the body absorbs food.

Does bariatric surgery affect what birth control I can use?

Whether or not the surgery affects your birth control options depends on what type of surgery you have.

What if I want to get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

Where can I get more information?

Nhs Weight Loss Surgery

Is it safe to conceive after bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS if:

  • you have a body mass index of 40 or more, or a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related condition that might improve if you lost weight
  • you’ve tried all other weight loss methods, such as dieting and exercise, but have struggled to lose weight or keep it off
  • you agree to long-term follow-up after surgery such as making healthy lifestyle changes and attending regular check-ups

Speak to a GP if you think weight loss surgery may be an option for you. If you qualify for NHS treatment, they can refer you for an assessment to check surgery is suitable.

You can also pay for surgery privately, although this can be expensive.

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Pregnancy Before And After Weight Loss Surgery

increasingI. Pregnancy after weight loss surgeryPregnancy outcomes weight-loss surgeryHow long should you wait after bariatric surgery before getting pregnant? 12 monthsWeight loss offers a fertility boost Let your antenatal team know youve had weight loss surgeryWhat can you do to have a healthy pregnancy? Putting on weight Caesarean section Can I still breastfeed after having bariatric surgery? nutrition whilst breastfeedingWill my baby have any side effects because Ive had bariatric surgery? II. Pregnancy BEFORE weight loss surgeryBMIThe benefits of weight loss surgery post-partum weight loss surgery blog postsgastric balloongastric sleeveweight loss surgeonexercise after weight loss surgeryAbout Ramsay Health Careweight loss surgerybariatric surgeonsmultidisciplinary teamContact us

Remaining Healthy During Your Pregnancy

Another reason to wait up to 18 months after surgery is to ensure that youre getting proper nutrition. Proper diet is especially important with bariatric procedures that center on preventing the body from absorbing calories and nutrients at the same rate as pre-op.

Since specific deficiencies are common in post-op patients, you dont want a deficiency when youre pregnant.

Along with eating a healthy diet and talking to your physician and dietician about a good meal plan for pregnancy, youll probably also want to take supplements. Some of the most common deficiencies in post-op pregnancies include:

  • Iron

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Vitamins To Support Pregnancy Post Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, you will need specific vitamins and minerals to counteract nutritional deficiencies to ensure your baby develops properly. Most types of bariatric surgery have unique supplemental needs depending on the type of weight loss surgery you undergo.

Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery, for example, require prenatal vitamins and minerals. Every trimester it may be necessary to undergo blood tests to check nutrition levels. When you first become pregnant, have your calcium, vitamin B12, and iron levels checked.

After BPD, its important to have your calcium, vitamin B12, and iron levels checked when you first begin your pregnancy. BPD may also cause your vitamin A levels to change. Find a proper balance of vitamin A intake, as too much can harm your baby. You may also need calcium, iron supplements, and vitamin D on top of prenatal vitamins and minerals.

After gastric bypass, have your blood checked each trimester to ensure youre not experiencing nutrient deficiencies. Before pregnancy, have your calcium, iron , and Vitamin B12 levels checked. Take prenatal vitamins along with calcium, vitamin D, and iron supplements.

No matter what type of weight loss surgery you have, after pregnancy, here is the summary of global recommendations for supplements post-bariatric surgery,

Additional Factors That Will Contribute To Your Personal Choice

Weight Loss Surgery

The waiting period for weight loss surgery after pregnancy is generally defined by a situation with minimal complications. However, your personal experiences will be the main indicator of how long you should wait to have your surgery. These considerations will likely factor into how long you should wait to have weight loss surgery after your pregnancy.

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Can Losing Weight Help You Get Pregnant

The short answer is yes bariatric surgery can indeed improve fertility.

Obese women are more likely to develop complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome .

Bariatric surgery can significantly lower your chances of encountering problems during pregnancy, decreasing the probability of a miscarriage amongst other complications.

If you are thinking about pregnancy after bariatric surgery, your body will be better prepared for fertility and carrying a baby. Excessive weight puts a great deal of strain on every aspect of your body, including your reproductive system.

Many women experience difficulties with their menstrual cycle and fertility when they are significantly overweight. After weight loss surgery, your reproductive system can finally regulate itself as your body reaps the benefits of your efforts.

Losing weight means a healthier you. And weight surgery and pregnancy go hand-in-hand as they will better equip you to handle all of the changes that will take place while you are expecting.

Nutritional Needs To Consider When Getting Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The absorption of key nutrients like vitamins and minerals is impaired after all bariatric surgeries, including the gastric sleeve. Its important that patients understand how to properly supplement their diet with the right bariatric vitamins.

Key micronutrients like Vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, Iron and Calcium are not absorbed as well, which increases the risk of deficiencies. Thats why vitamin supplementation is so important after bariatric surgery.

When you get pregnant youre not the only one who has specific nutritional needsnow youre taking vitamins for two!

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The Connection Between Weight And Pregnancy

Weight loss can have a positive impact on a womans reproductive health, both before and after conception. For example, hormonal imbalances caused by obesity can make it more difficult for women with excess weight to become pregnant. Changes in your natural hormone levels can lead to insulin resistance, which, if left untreated, can eventually prevent your body from producing enough viable eggs.

The negative health effects of obesity like diabetes and high blood pressure are especially dangerous for pregnant women. Insulin resistance caused by excess weight puts pregnant women at greater risk for gestational diabetes. Pre-eclampsia, a complication that damages the liver and kidneys, is associated with high blood pressure. Some women develop these conditions during pregnancy regardless of how much they weigh, but obese women are often at a higher risk.

The best way for women to combat complications like these is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight before getting pregnant. Losing weight, with the help of bariatric surgery, before having children makes for a safer and healthier journey to motherhood.

How Will Your Pregnancy Be Different After Weight

“Can I get pregnant after Weight Loss Surgery?”

In most ways, your prenatal care will be the same as for other women. But there are a few differences.

  • You may need to keep seeing the doctor who did your surgery. This is to make sure that you aren’t having any delayed problems from the surgery.
  • A dietitian may work with you to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need and to help you plan meals.
  • You may need to take extra vitamins and minerals. Weight-loss surgery can make it hard for your body to absorb some nutrients, such as folic acid, calcium, vitamin B12, and iron.

Some women may have a hard time with the idea of gaining weight for pregnancy after losing all that weight. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.

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Contraception And Preconception Counseling

Contraception and preconception counseling should be provided for all women of reproductive age who are undergoing bariatric surgery. Counseling on the use of contraceptives is especially important in adolescents because pregnancy rates following bariatric surgery are twice those in the general adolescent population . The risk of oral contraceptive failure is increased after bariatric surgery, so nonoral administration should be considered.

After bariatric surgery, a woman should wait 12 to 24 months before conceiving so that the fetus is not affected by rapid maternal weight loss and so that the patient can achieve her weight-loss goals. If pregnancy occurs before this recommended time frame, closer surveillance of maternal weight and nutritional status may be beneficial, and serial ultrasound monitoring of fetal growth should be considered.

I Was Diagnosed With Anemia After My Bariatric Surgery How Will That Be Monitored During My Pregnancy

Many patients are anemic after bariatric surgery. Anemia is also common during pregnancy. Anemia can happen because your body is not getting enough nutrients or vitamins such as iron, vitamin B12, or folate. Your provider can do blood tests to help determine why you are anemic. If your body needs more nutrients or vitamins, your provider will prescribe those that are right for you. Your provider may then repeat the blood tests to make sure your anemia is getting better. In addition, your provider will review your diet and may suggest certain foods that can provide some of the needed nutrients.

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The Dangers Of Pregnancy And Obesity

Obesity has some comorbid health conditions, and many of these can make pregnancy risky. Moreover, obese women are at an increased risk for many major and minor complications during pregnancy, including chest infections, headaches, gestational diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, pre-eclampsia, depression, postpartum hemorrhage, and more.

Beyond that, being an obese mother also puts your baby at risk for certain conditions, including heart defects, ADHD, anorectal atresia, and spina bifida. As such, its much safer for you and your baby if you wait until after your bariatric surgery to get pregnant.

Pregnancy Complications After Bariatric Surgery

Can I Get Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery?

Pregnancy after bariatric surgery can lead to complications. Your risk may be at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure that is induced by pregnancy compared to other women.

There is also a good possibility that you will be a candidate for a cesarean. While having a C-section is not a must after bariatric surgery, many doctors will lean in this direction. You should discuss possible problems that you may experience due to your unique situation.

Continue to follow a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Keeping your body strong during pregnancy is your best insurance policy for a positive experience.

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