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Is It Safe to Have a Pregnancy After Gastric Bypass?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Gastric bypass surgery is a medical procedure used to aid in weight loss for those who are obese or significantly overweight. Women who have this procedure often wonder about the safety of pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery. The good news is that many women are able to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery. There are some specific concerns that a woman who has had this procedure will have to face, such as waiting an appropriate amount of time after the surgery before trying to conceive. Other concerns are making sure to get enough nutrients during pregnancy and the emotional repercussions of weight gain during pregnancy.

Pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery may become possible for some women who experienced infertility before the procedure. When a woman is significantly overweight, she may not ovulate normally. By losing weight as a result of the surgery, ovulation and menstrual cycle regulation may resume, making conception more likely. Studies have shown that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome may also experience a boost in fertility after gastric bypass surgery.

Many doctors will recommend that an attempted pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery should be delayed for at least 18 months following the procedure. Following this type of weight-loss surgery, a person must gradually increase the amount of calories and solid foods that are consumed in order to prevent possible complications from the surgery. After about 18 months, the woman's weight should have stabilized, and her caloric intake should be high enough to properly nourish the developing fetus.

Nutritional deficiencies are a common complication of weight-loss surgery. A woman who is considering pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery will have to be particularly careful to ensure proper nutrition during pregnancy. Some doctors may recommend nutritional supplements, or a dietitian may be consulted to help the woman develop a healthy meal plan to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Unexpected emotional disturbances sometimes occur when there is a pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery. A woman may sometimes become depressed once she starts gaining weight during pregnancy. This does not necessarily mean that she does not want to do everything possible to take care of her unborn child. It is actually a normal reaction to weight gain after working so hard to lose weight. Psychological counseling can often help the woman in this situation to cope with her emotions so that her body image does not interfere with her nutritional needs during pregnancy.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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