How weight loss surgery can improve fertility and chances of pregnancy

How weight loss surgery can improve fertility and chances of pregnancy

Being overweight is a known factor that can contribute to fertility struggles in women. It is often difficult to know if you are overweight, because the weight distribution in women can be different from men. For example, a woman who is overweight may have a lot of fat in her buttocks and thighs, but her waistline could be normal. This can make the diagnosis difficult. But if you have been struggling to conceive for two years and your BMI is higher than normal, it is likely that your weight may be affecting your chance of falling pregnant.

There are many ways to lose weight, some more effective than others. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to have a healthy diet and exercise regimen; however, this is not enough for some people. If proper diet and exercise does not work for you, you may want to consider bariatric surgery as an option.

How can weight loss surgery affect fertility in men and women?

Obesity is a major cause of infertility. Research has shown that bariatric surgery can help those who are obese to lose weight and improve their fertility by significantly improving hormonal balance and sexual functions in both males and females. By losing weight, people can improve their chances of having a baby. This is because obesity can affect the number and quality of eggs a woman produces and the sperm count and quality in males.

Regular menstrual cycles are vital for falling pregnant. A woman who undergoes weight loss surgery may have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, both hormones associated with regulating ovulation. Additionally, studies show that obese women who undergo weight loss surgery have reduced levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses ovulation.

Weight loss surgery is known to increase fertility for women, especially in those who have conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A woman who has PCOS may feel like she is not able to conceive due to the irregularity of her menstrual cycle. Weight loss surgery can assist to normalise her hormones and help her conceive.

Fertility after weight loss surgery

We recommend waiting at least 12 months before trying for a baby. This gives your body time to lose as much weight as possible, since it’s not recommended to lose weight while pregnant, and allows for adequate maternal nutrition.  It is very common and safe to become pregnant after common weight loss surgeries after 12months has elapsed.

Ready to learn more? Contact us on (02) 4380 8404 and chat to our friendly team to book your consultation appointment with Dr Peter Hamer.


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