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Women advised to delay pregnancy following bariatric surgery

Women who have had bariatric surgery are “strongly advised” to wait at least 12–18 months before trying to conceive, new research states.

The advice comes from a review published in the Obstetrician and Gynaecologist journal (January 2013). The researchers highlighted an exponential increase in the number of women of childbearing age undergoing weight-loss surgery, which is recommended by national guidance in people with a BMI of ≥40 kg/m2, or between 35 kg/m2 and 40 kg/m2 and other significant disease that could be improved by weight loss (such as T2D or high blood pressure).

Despite pregnancy following bariatric surgery being safer and associated with fewer complications than pregnancy in morbidly obese women, the review findings suggest that women should be treated as “high risk” for up to 18 months after weight-loss surgery. They also recommend that multidisciplinary care – a team that includes an obstetrician, surgeon, fertility specialist and nutritionist – before, during and following pregnancy helps to prevent surgical and nutrition-related complications. 

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