How Long After Gastric Sleeve Can I Get Pregnant

Learn More About Weight Loss Surgery And Pregnancy


The most important thing you can remember when you are pregnant following weight loss surgery is to be consistent in everything that you do. Continue to eat the way that you should, exercise, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. See your doctor regularly.

Having a baby does not have to derail your weight loss efforts. You will always need to be conscious about your weight and the decisions you make.

But you dont have to do it alone. If you have questions about pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery or other types of bariatric surgery or you are thinking about bariatric surgery for the first time, the team at Olde Del Mar Surgical can help you on your journey to becoming a healthier you.

To learn more about your options, contact us today.

A helpful team of staff members is ready to answer your questions and be your guide as you continue on your quest to reach a weight that is best for you.

Should I Use Some Type Of Contraceptive While Losing Weight

YESdefinitely! If you conceive shortly after your surgery, or during the weight loss period, it can have harmful effects on the fetus which can lead to many complications with the baby. It is better to wait until your doctor advises that it is safe to have a baby.

A lot of surgeons will advise women who are at their childbearing age who plan to undergo the bariatric surgery to use a dependable method of contraception during the period of wait. As the unwanted weight is shed, the possibility of becoming pregnant is very high. While it is difficult for obese women to be pregnant, losing those excess weight increases the fertility. As a matter of fact, issues of the inability to conceive are often linked to obesity and are time and again resolved as the hormones go back to their natural level. So precaution against getting pregnant is advised.

Another point is that as you lose the weight, you will become more appealing to your boyfriend or husband, and they may not be able to keep their hands off! Using a contraceptive is a very good idea because you may not plan for pregnancy, but you may become pregnant all the same. So use a dependable contraceptive to ensure your health, and the health of your baby. You can speak with your doctor for advice on a reliable contraceptive.

How Gastric Sleeve Compares To Other Surgeries

Gastric sleeve is just one type of bariatric, or weight loss surgery. There are differences between each type. Discuss all the options with your healthcare provider before deciding on a surgery. This will help you make the best choice.

Keep these two things in mind:

  • A gastric sleeve is permanent.This is different than the gastric band procedure. A gastric band “cinches” the stomach to divide it into two pouches. A gastric band can be removed if there is a problem. The part of the stomach removed with the sleeve procedure cannot be replaced if there are problems.
  • You may not lose as much weight with a gastric sleeve. Compared to gastric sleeve patients, gastric bypass patients usually lose more weight. They also tend to keep more weight off in the long term. But bypass patients can have their own long-term challenges.

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Youre Riding A Roller Coaster Of Side Effects And Thinking You Most Certainly Did Not Sign Up For This

Serious surgical side effects are rare, but your doctor should discuss these in detail with you. The real pain in the gut are the little things that didnt seem like a big deal until they struck. As a result of gastric sleeve surgery, you can experience some pesky side effects such as nausea, gas pain, belching, incision pain, indigestion, and general gastrointestinal unrest.

Keep in mind that you have just had a major surgery!

The hard truth: Your anatomy has been teetered with and you and your new stomach need time to heal and adjust. Most of the side effects are temporary and your surgery team will prescribe you medications to combat them prior to your surgery date.

Regardless of any side effects I was confronted withI still have zero regrets!

Weight Loss Surgery & Pregnancy


Weight loss surgery involves reducing your stomachs size and/or bypassing a part of your intestine in order to reduce the amount of calories your body can absorb.

Women who are pregnant would not qualify for weight loss surgery, but if you want to get pregnant in the future, should you have bariatric surgery?

Also Read: Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

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How Long Should You Wait Before Getting Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery

We recommend that you wait at least 12 18 months after bariatric surgery before trying to conceive/getting pregnant. In the first 18 months following your surgery you will be losing weight quickly, placing considerable stress on your body as it undergoes many changes in both nutrition and weight. You will also be focusing on achieving certain weight loss goals, so its important to know that when you fall pregnant you will stop losing weight, and while weight maintenance is possible, it is very uncommon for people to get below their pre-pregnancy weight after they have had a baby.

If you fall pregnant too early, or if you havent been taking your multivitamins there is a risk that either you or your baby may become malnourished. Women who are still losing weight are prone to having smaller than normal babies and nutritional disturbances can lead to anaemia, reduced bone strength and other problems. While all women should be taking pre-conception multivitamins to reduce the risk of congenital defects in their children, this is of greater importance in women who have had bariatric surgery as they may have quite significant deficiencies in their vitamin and mineral levels without being aware that there is a problem.

We recommend postponing conceiving until your post bariatric surgery weight has stabilised, taking vitamin supplements and having a conversation about pre-conception planning with both your GP and your bariatric specialist.

Dangers Of Falling Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve

Pregnancy after gastric sleeve may increase the risk of post-operative complications in some women, especially when there is little gap between surgery and conceiving. Your surgeon will inform you about the potential dangers of falling pregnant after gastric sleeve. Using contraception for at least 12 months is the best way for reproductive women to minimize their risk post-VSG.

READ THIS: Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery: Is it Healthy and Safe?

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What Are My Next Steps

If you or your partner is obese and having trouble conceiving, come talk with us. We can help you determine whether lifestyle changes, fertility treatments, or bariatric surgery or a combination of approaches can help achieve your goals.

To learn more about bariatric surgery, call to set up a personal consultation. To request an Ob/Gyn virtual visit, call . Or you can request an appointment online.

Gastric Sleeve While Breastfeeding

Pregnancy after Gastric Bypass/PCOS Frequently Asked Questions

Many women have concerns related to gastric sleeve while breastfeeding. The good news is that healthy mothers can breastfeed even if they have undergone a gastric sleeve surgery. The stored nutrients in your body will first go to your breast milk, and then get utilized for the sustenance of your own body. Make sure you are following the appropriate gastric sleeve pregnancy diet as advised by your nutritionist or obstetrician.

  • Watch for Symptoms: Malnutrition is one of the possible pregnancy complications after gastric sleeve. Therefore, watch out for the deficiency of iron, calcium, folate, proteins, and vitamins and take your prescribed nutritional supplements. Watch out for symptoms of PCOS, thyroid conditions, or insulin resistance, which may reduce your milk production.
  • Focus on Vitamin B12: Deficiency of vitamin B12 is a notable concern for women who want to understand the risks of gastric sleeve while breastfeeding. If the mother is vitamin B12 deficient, she will have low levels of it in her breast milk. This could result in vitamin B12 deficiency in your breastfed infant, posing developmental risks.
  • Breast Skin Concerns: One of challenges some mothers may face with gastric sleeve while breastfeeding is sagging breast skin. You may have loose skin in the breasts and nipples after a massive weight loss following your VSG surgery. This could result in problematic positioning and latch. Seek medical advice well in time to address this concern.

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Irregular Periods After Gastric Sleeve

Have you struggled with irregular menstrual cycles while you suffered from obesity? Well, there is good news for you. Your problem of irregular periods after gastric sleeve is likely to get resolved, and any other associated obesity-related hormonal abnormalities that adversely impact your menstrual cycle may also improve.

Research Study 1

Researchers analyzed the data of 515 pre-menopausal women who underwent different types of weight loss surgery over a period of eight years from 1999 to 2017. Based on their post-operative experience, researchers found that the incidence of irregular periods after surgery had reduced from 38.6% to 25%. This cross-sectional study indicates the resolution of irregular periods after gastric sleeve for many women.

Research Study 2

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study, which also indicates that bariatric surgery contributes to the regulation of menstrual cycles. The study authors reported fairly dramatic results. Within a year after the surgery, almost all the women who earlier had irregular periods started having regular menses. Nearly 82% of the women who earlier had no periods also began having regular periods.

What Are The Effects On Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

The best bariatric surgeons recommend that women, who have undergone bariatric surgery in Mexico and have both the age and capacity to conceive, should take measures to prevent pregnancy during the period of fast weight-loss, which is primarily during the first year and up to 2 years after the bariatric procedure.

Studies have shown that pregnancy outcomes after weight-loss surgery such as the ones discussed earlier are significantly safer and better than the results of pregnant obese women. Furthermore, if mothers still have some overweight or obesity after their bariatric surgery, the outcomes are much better than if they have not had a bariatric procedure.

Accordingly, it is essential to acknowledge that there could be risks caused by weight-loss surgeries if the bariatric patient fails to follow recommendations about post-op guidelines given by the bariatric surgeon or bariatric nutritionist. Bariatric patients, and especially mothers, must take recommended supplements, and blood levels of critical nutrients must be monitored as part of comprehensive prenatal care.

What are the recommended levels of weight-gain when getting pregnant? Specialists at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that women with a normal weight and body size who a body mass index of 19.8-26 are recommended to gain 25-35 pounds. In contrast, those with a high range BMI of 26.1-29 are advised to gain at around 15 pounds.

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Pregnancy After Gastric Sleeve

You had the gastric sleeve and got pregnant, what will happen to your weight loss? Do you require special care?

A very common concern from female patients who are considering gastric sleeve surgery is usually whether it is dangerous to become pregnant after gastric sleeve has been performed.

In this article we discover why there is no risk of developing problems with your pregnancy if you had surgery as long as you watch properly the quality of your food intake.

If you want to know what’s best, pregnancy before gastric sleeve surgery or pregnancy after gastric sleeve check our article on this topic.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Safe Pregnancy after Gastric Bypass

The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy or gastric sleeve surgery is a restrictive procedure that removes approximately 70 to 80 percent of the stomach. After surgery, the stomach is the shape of a tube or sleeve, roughly the size and shape of a hot dog. Along with a new diet and exercise, this will help with rapid weight loss.

The operation does not reroute intestines or put in artificial devices. Instead, it causes hormonal changes that reduce the feelings of hunger. This is a very effective procedure that allows patients to see significant excess weight loss after a few months and help keep it off.

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What Special Care Should Be Given To Pregnant Women Who Have Had Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Apart from the routine antenatal care, women who got pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery should be given a multidisciplinary care that involves the surgeon, the obstetrician, and the nutritionist. They should be educated on the need to adhere to dietary plan in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies. The obesity associated disease conditions must be optimized with drug dosages adjusted as required and certain drugs that are unsafe during pregnancy should be substituted.

Further care depends on the type of bariatric surgery and other conditions peculiar to the patient. Therefore regular antenatal visits and adherence to caregiversâ advice have no substitute in ensuring a successful outcome.

In conclusion, gastric sleeve surgery and other bariatric surgeries induce weight loss and in turn improve fertility. The general recommendation is to avoid pregnancy within the first 12-18 months of bariatric surgery. Many studies, however, have shown no adverse effect if pregnancy occurred during this period. Therefore those desirous of pregnancy can do so without the fear of unwanted pregnancy or perinatal outcome.


Final Recommendations About Getting Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve

Our main recommendation would be for you to plan your weight loss surgery in a way in which the pregnancy happens at least 18 to 24 months after your gastric sleeve procedure in order that when the moment comes, you are completely ready mentally and physically and you can have an uneventful and smooth pregnancy for you and your baby.

The use of prenatal vitamins is a great complement to ensure that you get all the nutrients necessary for the healthy development of your baby.

Another recommendation I insist on, is that once you discover you are pregnant you should let your gynecologist know that you had the gastric sleeve surgery since despite the growing popularity of weight loss surgery, it is relatively new, at least on the scale in which it presents today and it is likely that your gynecologist is not fully aware of how to guide a pregnant patient with previous weight loss surgery, and this will give him/her time to learn and get guidance by other colleagues who do have experience in the subject.

Your turn, tell us do you plan to get pregnant? or are you pregnant? What has been your experience?

Dr. Gabriel Rosales is a highly skilled, board certified surgeon in constant pursuit of learning the latest innovations in the weight loss surgery field to give his patients the best care possible.

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Surgeon Response To How Long Do I Have To Wait For Gastric Sleeve While Breastfeeding


Congratulations to you and your husband on your new addition!

Although there isn’t an absolute prohibition on breastfeeding after undergoing the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy , you wouldn’t be able to breastfeed immediately after the procedure while still receiving post-operative medications. While you are rapidly losing weight after the VSG, you will be at risk of dehydration as well as protein, calorie, and other nutrient malnutrition, conditions that could be detrimental for a developing fetus.

Furthermore, you may have a difficult time maintaining your hydration and your nutrition for some time after undergoing the procedure: trying to do this for two, you as well as your breastfeeding baby, may be very difficult. Consequently, I routinely recommend that prospective Weight Loss Surgery patients defer their procedure until they are no longer breastfeeding.

After undergoing WLS, I recommend that patients defer pregnancy until their weight loss stabilizes. This allows for your full recovery from the procedure as well as optimizing your ability to maintain your nutrition and hydration while pregnant, minimizing any adverse impact on the developing fetus should you have any gestational difficulties referable to the WLS procedure. Depending on which WLS procedure you choose, as well as your own individual experience, this may be as short as six months, but more commonly extends to twelve to eighteen months following the WLS procedure.

John M. Rabkin, M.D.

There Are Many Risk Factors Associated With Obesity And Pregnancy

Lost 87 Kgs| Can you get Pregnant after Bariatric Surgery (Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery)?

It is well known that obesity leads to many negative health problems. Obesity often causes infertility problems, but if you are obese and do become pregnant, there are many associated risks and possible negative outcomes. Some of these risks and possible negative outcomes include:

  • Miscarriage or stillborn birth.
  • Preeclampsia: a condition where the pregnant woman develops increased blood pressure during pregnancy and if undetected or untreated, it can lead to seizures, stroke, and even death.
  • Gestational diabetes: a condition that develops during pregnancy and affects the amount of sugar in a womans blood. Insulin, a hormone that usually regulates the amount of sugar in the blood either does not work effectively or is not produced in a large enough amount to be effective. This leads to high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes can cause problems with both mom and baby, including a higher risk for having a c-section, preeclampsia, and having the baby too early. A woman with gestational diabetes also has a higher chance of developing diabetes after pregnancy and it increases the risk that the baby will have diabetes later in life.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Birth defects or abnormalities: most likely due to the decreased ability to read ultrasounds and other screening methods due to excess fat in an obese pregnant woman.

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