Seven facts about pregnancy after weight-loss surgery

Weight-loss surgery (also called bariatric or gastric bypass surgery) is becoming ever more common — according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people getting gastric bypass surgery increased ninefold from 1996 to 2004. But how do these kinds of surgeries affect getting pregnant and pregnancy itself? Here are seven facts you should know about it.

1. You may get a boost in fertility

Bariatric surgery can produce a sudden positive change in your fertility. A report in a November 2005 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that women with fertility problems linked to obesity who have the surgery can start ovulating regularly for the first time in years.

And if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your fertility should also get a boost after surgery. A study published in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that post-surgery weight loss for women with PCOS resolved their metabolic and reproductive abnormalities.

Important caveat: This newfound fertility can raise your chances of getting pregnant by accident if you haven’t been using birth control — a problem if you’re in the initial 18-month post-surgery period (see below). Read about your birth control options.

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