Bariatric Surgery May Help Fertility

At the most recent annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, findings were presented to support the idea that certain forms of infertility could be improved by weight loss surgery.

The study focused on women who were infertile as a result of polycystic ovarian syndrome – a disorder that may, in part, be caused by insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels. Of course, bariatric surgery has been proven to reduce blood sugar levels and manage diabetes in the majority of patients after surgery.

The study reviewed 566 medical records of obese women on whom gastric bypass surgery was performed. Of these women, 31 were diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome before undergoing the surgery. Of the 31, six wanted children and all six were able to conceive within three years of surgery after having lost significant weight. While additional testing and studies are needed, this presentation does lend some more credence to the idea that weight loss surgery may improve or resolve many fertility issues.

The presentation was covered by the New York Times, whose article can be viewed here: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/health/research/21patterns.html?_r=1

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