Obesity and InfertilityObesity and Infertility

Beat the clock with weight-loss surgery

You probably know that obesity increases your risks of diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.  But did you know that obesity also increases the risks of infertility in both men and women? In women, obesity may:

  •  Disrupt the body’s normal hormonal cycles
     
  •  Cause problems with ovulation and menstrual cycles
     
  •  Increase the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or the growth of a large number of ovarian cysts - a major cause of infertility in obese women

Possible Complications of Pregnancy 

Obese women who do conceive are more likely to experience complications, miscarriage or Cesarean delivery. They also experience less success with fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization. “Yet it can be extremely difficult for the morbidly obese to lose weight through diet and exercise alone,” says Michael Edwards, MD, a bariatric surgeon who directs Georgia Regents Weight Loss Center.

Here's the Good News

Bariatric surgery can help restore fertility, if being overweight was part of the problem. And a growing body of scientific data now suggests that women who have had weight-loss surgery have safer pregnancies and fewer complications than women who are obese during pregnancy.

Both Dr. Edwards and his bariatric partner Brian Lane, MD, say women should wait at least 12-18 months after surgery before becoming pregnant, as the rapid, ongoing weight loss that occurs during this period can deprive the baby of nutrients. “Women who’ve had bariatric surgery should also work with an obstetrician on preconception planning,” Dr. Edwards says.

 
Get the Facts on Bariatric Surgery at a Free Seminar

If you are morbidly obese, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery, a proven treatment for diabetes and other obesity-related conditions.  But there are many misconceptions about weight-loss surgery. Get the facts at a free informational seminar sponsored by Georgia Regents Weight Loss Center.

Seminars are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at the Columbia County Library at 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd. in Evans and at the GRU Alumni Center at 919 15th St. in Augusta.

To register, please visit www.georgiahealth.org/weightloss or call our Bariatric Nurse Coordinator at 706-721-2609.

Helpful Related Links:

Obesity Basics: What is it? How is it Treated?

Preventing Obesity

Obesity in Adolescents