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Is Pregnancy Possible After Bariatric Surgery?


Bariatric surgeries in the United States are on the rise, and eight out of every ten bariatric surgery patients are women. For many women considering weight-loss surgery, being able to get pregnant after the procedure is an influential concern. With that being said, is pregnancy possible after bariatric surgery?

The short answer is yes, it’s completely possible, but there are precautions that recent bariatric surgery patients should take before trying to conceive. 

Bariatric surgery is just one step towards developing and solidifying a healthier lifestyle, especially for those looking to have children. Let’s take a look at how to approach bariatric surgery before and after pregnancy.

How Long Should I Wait to Conceive After Bariatric Surgery?

Recent bariatric surgery patients should wait at least a year before trying to conceive. Sometimes, depending on your personal circumstances, waiting two years is recommended

Surgery, in all forms, puts stress on the body. Bariatric surgery is no exception, and your weight, as well as nutritional balance, must stabilize before you attempt to conceive. In addition, most of your post-surgery weight loss will occur within a year or two after surgery. Because pregnancy often involves weight gain, attempting to get pregnant soon after surgery can be counterproductive to your weight-loss goals.

Bariatric Surgery May Boost Fertility

One advantage of waiting until after bariatric surgery to get pregnant is the potential for normalized ovulation. Obesity tends to affect ovulation periods in women negatively by abnormally increasing androgen levels, which can, in turn, lead to difficulty getting pregnant.

Obesity also tends to lead to a higher risk of developing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that covers the ovaries in fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, containing immature eggs. This condition can negatively affect your ability to conceive.

Taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, starting with bariatric surgery, may greatly reduce your chances of developing PCOS and retaining normalized levels of androgen, leading to more regular periods and a boost in fertility.

Your Chances of a Healthier Birth Increase with Weight Loss

Losing weight before pregnancy greatly increases your potential for birthing a healthy child. Overweight conception can increase the possibility of birth defects, including gestational diabetes, macrosomia (birthing a larger-than-average baby), and even miscarriage. 

Conceiving at a healthy weight also allows your pregnancy care team to better conduct procedures, such as ultrasounds, to gauge your journey through pregnancy more accurately. When your care team can monitor your trimesters effectively, your chances of birthing a healthier child increase exponentially.

Take Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle with Lenox Hill Bariatrics

Bariatric surgery is just one step you can take toward developing a healthier and happier lifestyle. If you’re considering both bariatric surgery and pregnancy, it’s imperative to find a bariatric care team that knows how to meet your needs. Get the guidance and advice you need to get started, as well as aftercare for bariatric surgery, at Lenox Hill Hospital.