Many people ask us whether pregnancy is possible following bariatric surgery. Luckily yes, it is safe to get pregnant following gastric sleeve surgery once your weight stabilizes. In fact, when you lose weight due to gastric sleeve, the risk of complications linked to obesity is reduced, oftentimes making for a safer pregnancy.
Obesity and Infertility Challenges
Being overweight or obese can create challenges for some couples trying to get pregnant. Obesity-related issues contribute to about 30% of couples’ infertility concerns. Not only does obesity affect infertility by changing the way a woman’s body stores sex hormones, but also by contributing to a drop in testosterone and an increased risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
An additional challenge is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal health condition that can make fertility issues worse in some women. The root cause of PCOS is unknown, however, one of the side effects associated with this syndrome is obesity. Around 50-60% of women with PCOS struggle with obesity which can in turn worsen the complications of the disorder, including infertility.
How Gastric Sleeve Can Help
One of the main benefits of gastric sleeve is the resulting weight loss. Data shows that even as little as a 5% reduction in weight when you’re obese can help to increase your fertility. The drastic weight loss caused by bariatric surgery can improve fertility, helping you to have a successful pregnancy.
Additionally, when you lose weight due to bariatric surgery, the risk of pregnancy complications linked to obesity is reduced. Research found that bariatric surgery was associated with a decreased risk of gestational diabetes, chorioamnionitis, cesarean delivery and macrosomia.
Contraceptives Usage After Sleeve
As we’ve mentioned, being overweight or obese can play a part in your success at getting pregnant. Many couples try for a long time before weight loss surgery to conceive a child with no luck. As you progress on your gastric sleeve journey, your weight will be decreasing and your fertility is more likely to return back to normal, meaning that becoming pregnant may be less of a struggle. Due to this, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends those that undergo gastric sleeve surgery use contraceptives to protect against accidental pregnancy.
So When Can I Get Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve?
We recommend that pregnancy be avoided during the first 12-18 months following surgery due to the significant weight loss that occurs as well as the associated metabolic changes. You should always consult your health care provider for help with planning before conception. However, it can also be helpful to talk to your bariatric surgeon and dietitian for advice on nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy as well. The 360 Sleeve surgical team have unparalleled expertise on gastric sleeve surgery in Canada and are there to support you.
If you are ready to start your weight loss journey, our highly experienced Toronto gastric sleeve surgery specialists and knowledgeable care team are ready to support you – book your free consultation today.