Many women wonder if they are permitted to get pregnant after undergoing gastric sleeve. The answer is yes, you are allowed to have a baby after gastric sleeve; however, there are guidelines to follow. I’m Dr. Guillermo Alvarez of Endobariatric, one of just 12 surgeons worldwide certified as a Master Bariatric Surgeon. Patients travel from all over the world so I can perform their gastric sleeve surgery. Here are my recommendations for women wanting to get pregnant after gastric sleeve.
Pregnancy After Gastric Sleeve
Obesity affects fertility. Many heavy women do not ovulate regularly. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common in obese females. Bariatric surgery can adjust the hormonal issues relating to this condition.
Gastric sleeve surgery and subsequent weight loss can boost fertility in women who may have thought pregnancy was not possible. In some cases, women make the decision to undergo gastric sleeve so that they may become mothers.
However, after undergoing gastric sleeve, it is imperative to understand how your body has changed before going forward with pregnancy.
It’s best to wait a while after undergoing gastric sleeve before trying to get pregnant. For the best results for mother and baby, I recommend waiting 18 to 24 months post-surgery before trying to conceive. During this period, your body loses as much weight as possible. That’s all put on hold if you become pregnant.
Your body’s vitamin levels should stabilize prior to pregnancy. Otherwise, nutritional deficiencies can harm the developing fetus.
I will discuss birth control options with you after your surgery for family planning purposes. Birth control pills may not prove effective after gastric sleeve and other bariatric procedures, so it is vital to choose another type of contraceptive method.
No Weight Loss During Pregnancy
One of the primary reasons you should wait until achieving significant weight loss before conceiving is that you will gain weight once pregnant. Trying to lose weight while pregnant is never a good idea.
Reducing the Risk of Complications
Waiting the appropriate amount of time after gastric sleeve to get pregnant reduces the risk of complications. By postponing pregnancy until you are at a safe, healthy weight, there is less chance that you or your infant will experience:
• Gestational diabetes
• Fetal malnutrition
• Premature birth
• Cesarean delivery
• Low birth weight
• Overly large baby
After weight loss, it is easier for your obstetrician to perform diagnostic tests such as ultrasound when you are pregnant. That’s especially crucial for women after bariatric surgery, as there is an increased risk of poor growth within the womb in such pregnancies. Regular testing promotes a healthy outcome for the mother and baby.
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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.