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Boosting Fertility in Men and Women through Bariatric Surgery – ARC Summit

by | Apr 7, 2024 | ARC Summit, News

Boosting Fertility in Men and Women through Bariatric Surgery – ARC Summit

Bariatric surgery is increasingly recognized for its effectiveness and safety, particularly in reproductive-age women. It is proven to enhance fertility-related outcomes such as anovulation and spontaneous fertility. Moreover, it significantly reduces the risks associated with gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Additionally, women who have undergone bariatric surgery tend to experience fewer cesarean sections, wound complications, and fewer neonatal intensive care unit visits.

In men, while research is less extensive, emerging studies suggest positive impacts on male fertility post-bariatric surgery. Improvements have been noted in sperm volume, concentration, and motility. Significant increases in the number of fertilized oocytes in couples undergoing IVF have been documented, particularly when men have undergone procedures like sleeve gastrectomy.

For women, particularly those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), bariatric surgery has shown promising results in facilitating pregnancy. Studies indicate that a higher percentage of PCOS patients conceive post-surgery compared to their counterparts who have not undergone surgery—22% versus 3%, respectively. This suggests that bariatric surgery not only aids significant weight loss but may also enhance fertility rates in women with PCOS.

The relationship between bariatric surgery and improved fertility outcomes in both men and women underscores its potential as a transformative intervention for obese individuals facing infertility issues. However, the exact mechanisms through which weight loss surgery affects fertility remain complex and not fully understood.

The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, supported by the American College of Obstetricians, recognizes the substantial and sustained weight loss achieved through bariatric surgery and its benefits in improving fertility. However, they also note that the full effects and underlying mechanisms are still being studied. As a result, it is crucial for patients undergoing bariatric surgery to receive comprehensive counseling about the potential for improved fertility and to be advised against conception within the first year post-surgery to avoid complications. This cautious approach ensures that patients are fully informed of the benefits and the timing considerations related to fertility following their weight loss surgery.

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