Gastric Bypass Surgery and Pregnancy

Women who are extremely overweight may contemplate having weight loss surgery.  Many of these women have tried to lose weight over and over again and have been unable to so on their own.  If, however, you are thinking about having weight loss surgery, or you've already had the surgery done, it is very important to know how it will influence your chances of conception.

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery has become more popular in recent years.  This surgery involved having a surgeon reroute food past your stomach into a small pouch that accommodates only small portions.  Most patients are only able to eat a tiny bit of food at a time after the surgery, and can usually only consume about 500 calories a day.  This creates an immediate and dramatic weight loss for people who have had a very difficult time losing weight on their own.

Chances of Pregnancy After Surgery?

Many women do find that they don't ovulate regularly, or at all, when they are drastically overweight.  After surgery of this sort, they will, hopefully, begin to ovulate again and to have a better chance of becoming pregnant.  At the same time, however, the surgery takes an enormous toll on the body.  It takes a long time for the body to adjust to the changes in calorie intake and nutrients.  Doctors, therefore, recommend that patients wait at least 18 months after the surgery before trying to get pregnant.  This will allow the body to adjust to its new size, its new nutrients intake, and to be ready to help a fetus to grow.

Birth Control and Surgery

It is important and interesting to note, however, that birth control is often tricky after bypass surgery.  This is because your body may not be able to absorb enough of the birth control pill to make it effective, and diaphragms have to be adjusted regularly as you lose the weight.  Most doctors, therefore, recommend that you use multiple birth control methods for the first 18 months after having the surgery.

Complications with Surgery

Women who do become pregnant can, at times, have complications from weight-loss surgery.  Such problems could include bleeding in the woman's stomach, anemia or limited room for the baby's growth.  In general, however, researchers have not found many problems and have been happy with the positive results of this weight loss.  Losing the weight helps women who were heavy to avoid gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, large sized babies and Cesarean births.

Talk To Your Doctor

Once you do become pregnant, it's very important for your doctor to know that you have had the bypass surgery.  Pregnant women who've had this surgery can have problems with the glucose tolerance test and with prenatal vitamins.  They have a hard time processing these items in their bodies.  Doctors can give you a fasting blood sugar test rather than the regular glucose tolerance test and they can prescribe vitamins that are made specifically for patients of bypass surgery. These are interesting and important facts that your doctor needs to know about you during your pregnancy.

Gastric bypass surgery is, of course, not for everyone.  It's for people who are at least 100 pounds overweight and are having complications from their weight.  It is also not a guaranteed way to become pregnant.  However, bypass surgery certainly does work wonders for the right patients and can help you to feel better and to have an easier pregnancy.

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