ISRN Obes. 2013 Jan 30;2013:492060. doi: 10.1155/2013/492060. eCollection 2013.
Obesity is an escalating problem in all age groups and it is observed to be more common in females than males. About 25% of women meet the criteria of obesity and one-third of them are in the reproductive age. Because morbid obesity requiring surgical treatment is observed with increasing frequency, surgeons and gynecologists are undergoing new challenges. It is not only a matter of women's health and their quality of life but also proper development of the fetus, which should be a concern during bariatric treatment. Therefore complex perinatal care has to be provided for morbid obesity patients. The paper reviews pregnancy and fertility issues in bariatric surgery patients.
CONTEXT: Reproductive function may improve after bariatric surgery, although the mechanisms and time-related changes are unclear. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine whether ovulation frequency/quality as well as associated reproductive parameters improve after Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery. DESIGN: This was a prospective cohort study that enrolled female subjects from 2005 to 2008 with study visits at baseline and then 1, 3, 6, 12, and up to 24 months after surgery. SETTING: The study was conducted at an academic health center. PATIENTS: Twenty-nine obese, reproductive-aged women not using confounding medications participated in the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was integrated levels of urinary progestin (pregnanediol 3-glururonide) from daily urinary collections at 12 months postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were changes in vaginal bleeding, other biometric, hormonal, ultrasound, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry measures, and Female Sexual Function Index. RESULTS: Ninety percent of patients with morbid obesity had ovulatory cycles at baseline, and the ovulatory frequency and luteal phase quality (based on integrated pregnanediol 3-glururonide levels) were not modified by bariatric surgery. The follicular phase was shorter postoperatively [6.5 d shorter at 3 months and 7.9-8.9 d shorter at 6-24 months (P < 0.01)]. Biochemical hyperandrogenism improved, largely due to an immediate postoperative increase in serum SHBG levels (P < 0.01), with no change in clinical hyperandrogenism (sebum production, acne, hirsutism). Bone density was preserved, contrasting with a significant loss of lean muscle mass and fat (P < 0.001), reflecting preferential abdominal fat loss (P < 0.001). Female sexual function improved 28% (P = 0.02) by 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Ovulation persists despite morbid obesity and the changes from bypass surgery. Reproductive function after surgery is characterized by a shortened follicular phase and improved female sexual function.