Bariatric Surgery and Fertility

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Fertility is an important issue for women undergoing weight loss surgery.  There are strong associations between body weight and infertility, insulin resistance and diabetes.  Although fertility is not often the primary motivating factor for bariatric surgery, there is strong evidence that it improves post-operatively.  Irregular menstrual cycles and polycyctic ovarian syndrome are also very likely to improve after weight loss surgery.

A related issue is contraception.  Oral contraceptive pills may not be reliable after gastric bypass surgery, and contraceptive diaphragms my no longer fit after weight loss.  For women wishing to become pregnant, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends that women wait for at least one year after bariatric surgery.  This allows time for a woman’s weight to stabilize and for micronutrient deficiencies to be treated.

We advise all women with concerns about fertility or contraception after weight loss surgery to discuss these issues with their ObGyn, and remember to be careful out there – accidents cause children.

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