Bariatric nurse Judy Tanielian shares if previously infertile, obese women can become fertile after bariatric surgery and why obese women are more likely to give birth to a baby with birth defects.
Nurse Judy Tanielian:
Following bariatric surgery, some women who were formerly infertile find that they can conceive a child. Often there is internal fat around the ovaries and the woman is not able to ovulate, and that in itself can cause infertility. But some women do have regular menstrual cycles being obese, and even those women are found to have an increased percentage of fertility following bariatric surgery.
In other words, they are more likely to be able to conceive following bariatric surgery and weight loss. It’s important for women who are undergoing bariatric surgery to remember that they should not try to conceive during the first 12 to 18 months following surgery because that’s a time of really rapid weight loss, and it’s possible that the developing fetus will be malnourished if conceived during that time frame.
And so we always tell our patients if they are sexually active, to use a good birth control device because we do not want them to have anything but a wonderfully healthy baby.
Obese women are more likely to have children with birth defects, especially neural tube type birth defects--spina bifida, cleft lip, cleft palate--than women who are of normal weight. Following bariatric surgery and weight loss, the incidence of these birth defects is reduced.
About Judy Tanielian, R.N., B.S.N., C.B.N.:
Judy Tanielian, R.N., B.S.N., C.B.N. has nearly forty years of nursing experience and six years of experience as a Clinical Director managing Bariatric Surgery programs. She graduated with honors from Portland Community College’s Associate Degree Registered Nursing program in 1973. She served as a nurse at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in The Oregon Burn Center for twenty two years, filling a variety of roles from bedside care to management. While at Legacy, Judy was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree with honors, through Excelsior College. During that time period, she was also inducted into the Nursing Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau.