With bariatric surgery on the rise, more and more people undergo it each year. And with that statistical increase, there will likely be more women of childbearing age receiving the surgery to take them from morbidly obese to a healthy body mass.
Bariatric surgery numbers in the U.S. increased by a stagering 800 percent between the years 1998 and 2005. Women of reproductive age, considered to be those ages 18 to 45, made up 83 percent of these weight loss surgeries.
Many women find their fertility diminished when they become obese. After a gastric bypass, a LAP-BAND or other types of bariatric surgery, their fertility increases as their body fat is reduced. It is advisable that women wait one and a half to two years before trying to get pregnant to allow their bodies to heal and to be sure there are no complications from the surgery.
While some worry that gastric bypass patients will be forced to deliver via c-section, this is not true. Gastric bypass patients who become pregnant are still able to deliver vaginally.
However, many gastric bypass patients do end up undergoing c-sections, which while safe, can pose risks. All Bariatric patients should discuss the possibility of having to undergo a c-section as part of their obstetrical care with their physician.