Weight loss surgery is life changing for many people, including those that are trying to start families. One of the many reasons why I decided to have bariatric surgery 7.5 years ago was because I wanted a baby. I knew that being almost 400 pounds was not healthy for me or for my baby and that if I wanted to start a family, I would need to lose weight. This is one of the deciding factors for a lot of women that are considering having surgery. Interestingly enough, when you lose a significant amount of weight, your fertility can go up. This is something that is important to know if you are considering having bariatric surgery because you need to be prepared for when this might happen to you.
I was 12 months post-op gastric sleeve when I got pregnant with my first baby. We had decided we were going to start trying and there were so many people out there that told us it could take months to get pregnant. So, we decided to be proactive and just jump right in. To our surprise, we got pregnant the first month trying. Not everyone will have the same experience, but I think it is important to talk about it after surgery because you do not want to be caught off guard if you do get pregnant quickly. Most surgeons will tell you that you should wait 12-18 months after surgery before getting pregnant. This is because they want to make sure your weight stabilizes and you are in the best shape to carry a healthy pregnancy. So, if you are wanting to get pregnant but people are telling you it might take time, be aware that it very well could be the opposite for you since you have lost so much weight and your fertility could be stronger.
I had this happen not just once, but twice. I am currently 8 months post-op my revision to gastric bypass surgery and am also 22 weeks pregnant. This time around, I was not actively trying to have a baby. I was on birth control pills and still managed to get pregnant when I was only 4 months post-op. I say this again to just stress how much your fertility can go up when you lose a lot of weight. I had lost over 50 pounds, so my body must have just responded to it really strongly. As much as this was a huge surprise, I am so excited to be having another baby, but I do think it is important to consider how fast your fertility can improve, especially if you are not ready to have a baby yet.
Fertility is such a complicated thing and it truly is a completely different experience for every woman. However, there is so much research out there that suggests how weight loss can significantly improve your fertility and this is why we see so many younger women choosing to have bariatric surgery. This is so amazing for so many women who struggle to get pregnant while being overweight. I encourage you to do your research and make sure you are informed on this topic before you have the procedure so you can be ready if something similar happens to you. At the same time, just remember that it could also take time to get pregnant so try to be patient and give your body time to catch up. Good luck!