One significant fertility issue for obese women is anovulation (when the body does not release a ripened egg each month as a part of the menstrual cycle). Obese women who lose 5% or more of their weight (with or without surgery) are sometimes able to reverse this problem.
Given this knowledge, a study was undertaken to determine specifically how anovulation was affected after bariatric surgery.
Ninety-eight of 195 patients studied were considered “anovulatory” before surgery. Of the 98, 70 (71.4%) got back to a normal menstrual cycle following surgery. The 28 patients who remained anovulatory lost less weight than the “cured” bariatric surgery patients, suggesting that closer attention to bariatric diet and weight loss surgery exercise to improve weight loss could increase the cured rate even more.
Other studies also report a potential improvement in a woman’s ability to conceive and give birth to a healthy child after bariatric surgery.
In addition to improvements in anovulation, they have found other improvements that contribute to increased fertility (16) like:
- other menstrual irregularities
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- normalization of sex hormones
In another study of 110 obese infertile women (17), researchers evaluated bariatric surgery’s impact on fertility, including such factors as:
Among the 110 previously infertile women, 69 became pregnant following surgery. All 69 pregnancies moved forward with no complications and live births.