Experts Say Women Should Wait At Least A Year Before Trying to Get Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery

According to a literature review published in The Obstetrician & Gynecologist women should wait a minimum of a year before trying to conceive following any weight loss surgery. The review looks closely at the advantages and limitations that bariatric surgery has as well as the safety involved.

The number of obese women of child-bearing age is expected to rise to nearly 28.3% in 2015, Medical News Today reports. This equates to a greater number of women enduring weight loss surgery. Ultimately, many studies have proven that while obesity is associated with infertility, weight loss surgery often treated infertility’s biggest cause, polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Ultimately, obesity increases the risk of any gynecological complications. However, weight loss surgery often brings a safer way for morbidly obese to give birth. According to a previous study, nearly 79.2% of pregnancies following weight loss surgery were safe. However, complications can occur, in nearly 24% of pregnancies band slippage or migrated occurred.

About the Study

This study recommends that patients wait at least a year because of the increased risk of miscarriage. They found a higher miscarriage rate among women who had weight loss surgery within 18 months prior to the baby loss. Nearly 31% of pregnancies ended in miscarriage within 18 months of surgery and just 18% after the fact.

This review also recommends that women should get information pre-conception regarding pregnancy and contraception. Ultimately, there is greater success in women who have an active multi-disciplinary team helping them during pregnancy than those that do not. Those involved in the team should include and are not limited to: surgeons, anesthetists, nutritionists, psychologists, plastic surgeons, obstetricians, primary care physicians, fertility specialists, and patients.

The author of the study Rahat Khan believes that with an increasing number of women of child-bearing age having weight loss surgery the need for more information prior to conception is important. According to his study, pregnancy after bariatric surgery actually is safer and has fewer complications then pregnancy for morbidly obese women. While these women are still considered high risk, with the help of a team of doctors, the safety of pregnancy after weight loss surgery is greater than ever before.

Khan believes that obstetricians, gynecologists, surgeons, and primary care doctors need to work together to address questions from these women regarding the safety of pregnancy post-op. According to Jason Waught, editor-in-chief of The Obstetrician & Gynecologist, this education process should be encouraged in order to help these women make well-informed decisions when planning to become pregnant or even preventing pregnancy through contraceptives.

While bariatric surgery has been proven to treat several medical conditions such as Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, it now leads to a greater chance of pregnancy success in obese women.

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