Pregnancy complications are reduced and fertility has improved by weight loss surgery. A recent scientific impact paper published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists confirms what we have long known about obesity. Obese patients, (those with a BMI of more than 30) which now involves over 25% of the population have high risks of subfertility, miscarriage and congenital anomalies and other problems with pregnancy, including diabetes, hypertension and having large babies.
While women are encouraged to change their lifestyle by increasing exercise and adhering to a healthy diet, in some cases weight loss (bariatric surgery) is required.
Achieving such weight loss restores a woman’s fertility. Bariatric surgery can reduce weight by 25%, but it is important to wait for 12 to 18 months before falling pregnant. This is because of the increased nutritional needs of the developing fetus. There is however a concern about an increased risk of preterm birth and small for gestation babies in women who have had bariatric surgery. Current recommendations are for bariatric surgery in patients with a BMI of more than 40 or a BMI of more than 35 with associated health problems.