Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery
In this ongoing Q&A video series, Doc Pop answers some of the common questions he receives about bariatric surgery. The series is meant to be educational and should not be taken as medical advice.
In this video Doc discusses pregnancy and getting pregnant after bariatric surgery.
Pregnancy after bariatric surgery may be safer than a pregnancy complicated by obesity. In fact, obesity often prevents many of my patients from becoming pregnant in the first place. I have had patients that have been infertile for years that have the surgery, lose a significant amount of weight, and immediately become pregnant, and it’s a wonderful thing.
I do tell my patients that are considering pregnancy after bariatric surgery two things though. First, I tell them that that it is best to avoid getting pregnant until after the rapid weight-loss period, when their weight stabilizes. While this might take 12, 18 or up to 24 months depending on where they are in the weight-loss cycle, it will then be a much safer pregnancy for them and the baby.
Because being overweight often is the main impedance for their infertility, I also tell my patients that they should carefully discuss their decision with their OBGYN. Make sure to get a reliable form of birth control as well – the pill, a patch, a shot or an IUD – whatever is the best choice for you. Fertility often improves; we just don’t know when that will happen, so it’s best to be prepared.
We certainly have patients, who have had bariatric surgery and don't get to their maintenance weight before becoming pregnant, it happens. Statistically though, infant loss and nutritional complications for the baby are greater during the rapid weight loss. No one needs that heart ache, and the baby certainly doesn't need added stress.
So if you are considering bariatric surgery and pregnancy, I recommend using effective birth control until your weight stabilizes while going through the rapid weight-loss period after surgery. This makes for a much safer and healthier pregnancy.