Losing weight after bariatric surgery can have a big impact on your fertility. Whether you’ve been trying to get pregnant for years or are thinking about having kids in the future, there are several things you need to understand about how weight loss surgery impacts your fertility. In this post, world-renowned bariatric surgeon Dr. Guillermo Alvarez answers some of the most common questions he receives from his patients.
I’ve Never Been Able to Get Pregnant. Will That Change After Bariatric Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery will cause you to experience dramatic weight loss over the months following your procedure. This weight loss will impact how the hormones in your body work, which will make you more fertile and more likely to get pregnant. If you’ve had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), weight loss after bariatric surgery can also be an effective treatment for this condition.
Many patients have been shocked to find that they are pregnant three to six months after their gastric sleeve surgery. They may have been trying to get pregnant for years unsuccessfully, but that all changed once they started losing weight rapidly. Don’t be surprised if this happens to you after your procedure!
How Long Should I Wait to Get Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
It’s recommended to wait 18 months after your procedure to get pregnant, and at the very least you should wait 12 months. Getting pregnant sooner than that places additional stress on your body when you’re already losing a lot of weight after gastric sleeve surgery.
After 18 months, you’ll be at or very near your target weight. You won’t be losing weight as quickly as you were in the months following surgery. You’ll also be better able to handle the weight gain that comes naturally during pregnancy.
For these reasons, you should use some form of birth control during the 18 months after bariatric surgery.
Does Bariatric Surgery Create Any Issues During Pregnancy?
The weight loss from gastric sleeve surgery will lower your risk of complications or other issues during pregnancy. You and your baby will be more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
You should still regularly consult with your bariatric surgeon and your OB/GYN to make sure you and your baby are staying healthy. Make sure you understand which supplements you need to be taking and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
If you follow these steps, you can certainly have a happy and healthy baby after gastric sleeve surgery.
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.