Weight loss surgery, which is also known as gastric bypass or bariatric surgery, is now becoming a common way to shed unwanted pounds. If you went through this kind of surgery and you want to get pregnant, there are a few things to consider.
Bariatric surgeries may help promote fertility in women, according to a November 2005 report published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. The report stated that women who had fertility problems due to obesity saw a positive change in ovulation. Additionally, those who had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) also experienced a boost in fertility. The fertility effect can increase the chances of getting pregnant by accident. It is recommended to use birth control for the first 18 months after surgery.
The 18-Month Rule
In general, it is safe to get pregnant after a weight loss surgery. However, it should be after your weight becomes stable. The reason for this is that the body undergoes a number of changes that could be stressful. There could also be significant nutritional disturbances that can be problematic for the growth of the unborn baby. For your protection as well as your baby’s, doctors recommend that women should avoid getting pregnant until the 18th month after the surgery. This is to avoid potential malnutrition for the mother and the fetus.
What to Do after Learning You are Pregnant
If you find out you are pregnant after a weight loss surgery, talk to your doctor immediately. It is essential to get proper advice right away. The good news is that complications linked to being overweight, such as gestational diabetes, large birth weights, and high blood pressure can be greatly reduced in people who have undergone bariatric surgery.
When talking to your doctor or your care team, you should be able to discuss that you had a weight loss surgery. You should also tell the weight loss surgery doctor that you are expecting a child.
The care you receive will be based on the type of surgery you had as well as how long it has been since the weight loss procedure. Typically, if it has been 18 months or more, the center may advise you to simply follow the usual healthy eating and exercise regime for pregnant women. For those who got pregnant in less than 12 months after the surgery, specific advice and help should be provided.