Most of the patients we see in the clinic are female, and one of the most common topics of conversation in appointments is about pregnancy.
This conversation is usually about whether weight loss surgery will enhance or diminish the chance of becoming pregnant, and whether it might impact on the health of a baby during pregnancy.
The fact is that weight loss surgery is an entirely positive thing for female patients who want to become pregnant. One of the first things a fertility consultant will tell an obese patient wanting to fall pregnant is that they have to put their weight into a healthy range. We also see evidence of this in the NHS where IVF treatment is often denied to patients with a BMI above 35.
Whichever weight loss procedure you have, you can expect to lose sufficient weight to significantly increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
For patients who are motivated to have surgery, for this reason, we will usually look to the gastric band and gastric sleeve as the first option, in preference to the gastric bypass. These choices will always vary according to individual patient circumstances.
The concern about bypass is that it is more likely to lead to nutritional deficiency than the other surgeries, band or sleeve. In fact, vitamin and mineral deficiency is really the only concern we are keen to manage for a female patient having a procedure to increase her chances of having a baby. Likewise, after the birth of the baby we encourage regular blood tests, we inform the GP what tests are needed and when, to make sure that the patient is nutritionally well and by extension, for those who are breastfeeding that baby is getting what they need as well.
So, if you are obese, weight loss surgery will increase your chances of getting pregnant. A consultation with one of our consultants will give you all the information you need to make a decision on whether it’s the right option for you.
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