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Can You Get Pregnant If You Have A Gastric Sleeve

Posted on 23 Jun, 2021

Are you considering having a baby after weight loss surgery? Maybe you’re asking yourself, “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve?” before undergoing the bariatric surgery.

For many women, obesity plays a sizeable role in preventing pregnancy. Increased complications of labour and delivery are linked to obesity in pregnancy. According to The Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria, obese pregnant women have been found to have higher rates of medical interventions around labour and birth, including higher induction rates for prolonged pregnancy and higher rates of Caesarean section as a result.

Being in the healthy weight range will undoubtedly improve your chances of becoming pregnant. In addition, even a slight weight loss can significantly help reduce the risk of personal health complications throughout pregnancy. As such, many women consider gastric sleeve surgery to lose weight and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.


Can You Get Pregnant if You Have a Gastric Sleeve?

When considering “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve,” the simple answer is yes. Central Coast Surgery is the leading Gastric Sleeve Newcastle provider, offering bariatric procedures across Central Coast, Newcastle, and other surrounding areas such as Singleton, Nelson Bay, Maitland and more. Dr Ken Wong is an experienced surgeon who specialises in gastric sleeve surgery and post-operative measures to maximise the benefit of metabolic and bariatric surgery.

If you’re wondering, “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve?”, Central Coast Surgery is here to provide the answers and concise, informative content to assist those embarking on their weight-loss journey.


What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric Sleeve surgery involves removing a large portion of the stomach and creating a ‘sleeve’ with the remainder. This bariatric surgery is a minimally invasive surgery. After undergoing the surgery, patients can expect to have around 20% of their pre-surgery capacity, although this depends on a patient-to-patient basis.

This means it takes much less food to feel full. Reduced hunger is also experienced, as the part of the stomach that produces the Ghrelin hormone (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) is removed.

So, you’re wondering, “can you have a baby after gastric sleeve?” It has been proven that women have a much more successful pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery as their body holds less fat.

Gastric Sleeve surgery is for people wishing to make a substantial change and typically have a BMI of over 35. This procedure can result in rapid weight loss.

What Pregnancy Complications Can Arise from Being Overweight or Obese?

The first thing to do when asking yourself, “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve?” is acknowledging that having a high body mass index (BMI) can harm fertility by hindering normal ovulation. Even in women who regularly ovulate, it takes longer to appear pregnant physically if you have a higher BMI.

These are the following classifications for BMI:

  • Below 18.5 – Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 – Normal
  • 25.0 – 29.9 – Overweight
  • 30.0 and higher – Obese

To determine your body mass index, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres. Then, divide this number by your height in meters again.

Having a high BMI during pregnancy increases the risk of the following complications:

  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, or recurrent miscarriage
  • Being pregnant past your due date
  • Pregnancy complications due to high blood pressure or organ damage
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Wound infections if C-section is undertaken
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Trouble losing weight after pregnancy
  • Cardiac dysfunction

Being obese can lead to other serious complications such as:

  • Birth defects
  • Foetal macrosomia
  • Infections during pregnancy like UTI’s
  • Blood clots
  • Problems with breastfeeding
  • Childhood obesity
  • Impaired growth
  • Childhood asthma

Obesity will also have an impact on vitro fertilization treatment (IVF).

If you have a BMI of 30+, consult your doctor for advice for specialized care. They may recommend early testing for gestational diabetes, screening for sleep apnoea or changes to your foetal ultrasound. Ultrasound waves do not readily penetrate abdominal fat tissue, and thus this can interfere with the accuracy of the ultrasound.

gastric sleeve post operative care for pregnancy


Can You Still Get Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Yes, having a baby after weight loss surgery is possible.

Pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery is, in many cases, safer than having a pregnancy whilst being overweight or obese. When can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve? It is important to note that women should wait 12-18 months before getting pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery to protect both the woman and the baby. The body needs some time to adjust and recover from the bariatric procedure before attempting to conceive. At this time, it is recommended to continue on your weight loss journey and build upon the strong foundation that gastric sleeve surgery provides. You may have another health-related goal that is achievable in the meantime.

Studies have suggested that menstrual cycles after gastric sleeve surgery start to become more regular, leading to improved ovulation and thus a greater possibility of conceiving.

After your gastric sleeve surgery, but before the pregnancy, regular intake of vitamins will assist in the eventual realisation of healthy pregnancy outcomes. Prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements like calcium citrate, iron and vitamin D are recommended, and you should look to correct vitamin deficiencies before conception. When considering “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve?” whilst the answer is yes, it must be said that your weight loss surgery should be supplemented with healthy habits in both diet and exercise to minimise risk.


What Happens If I Fall Pregnant Too Soon After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Getting pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery without waiting the recommended time can lead to potential physical or mental development problems for your baby. This is because this kind of bariatric surgery can prevent your baby's growth as it fails to receive a substantial amount of nutrients. As you are trying to lose weight, your baby is trying to gain weight. Therefore, the food that you consume post-surgery must be rich in nutrients and healthy. When considering pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery, it is essential to note that the mother should follow a solid nutrition plan which includes vitamin and mineral supplements. After you have undergone bariatric surgery, your body will undergo many different changes. Not only will your eating habits change, so will your hormone levels.

Other complications that increase in risk if one falls pregnant too soon after gastric surgery includes weight gain, anaemia, low birth weight for the child and possibly an increased risk of C-section.


Can You Get Pregnant if You Have a Gastric Sleeve infographic


Labour and Delivery After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Although the answer to “can you get pregnant if you have a gastric sleeve?” is yes, you can get pregnant after you undergo bariatric surgery, you may still wonder if there are any differences in the labour and delivery aspect of pregnancy.

As a general rule of thumb, delivery and labour will be the same for a patient who has had gastric sleeve surgery as one who hasn’t. Despite this, it is more common for women who have had gastric sleeve surgery previously to have a C-section; however, normal delivery is still entirely possible.


Can You Get Pregnant After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery can be safe and healthy, just like getting pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery, if managed well.

There is a possibility that the baby may be small for their age or have growth defects resulting from nutritional deficiencies that spawn post-weight-loss surgery. However, if you wait the recommended time period of 12-18 months, your weight should stabilise and become used to the new diet regime.


What About After Gastric Banding Surgery?

Pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery can be safe and healthy, just like getting pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery, if managed well.

If you are obese, the more weight lost, the better. Ensure to supplement the bariatric surgery with physical exercise and healthy eating while waiting 12-18 months for the best results and less risk of complication.


What Can You Do to Improve Your Chances of Having a Healthy Pregnancy?

It is recommended to get a preconception check-up before attempting to fall pregnant. Health care professionals will be able to find ways to help you lose weight before pregnancy.

During pregnancy, you should endeavour to receive regular prenatal care. Prenatal care is care that you receive during pregnancy. Here, you can talk to your doctor about diet plans and weight gain advice among other things like general emotional support.

Also, it is recommended to engage in physical activity every day and get moving. Not only will this help your body deal with the pregnancy and the baby itself – but it will assist in forming healthy, regular habits that can assist your weight loss journey.


Weight Loss Treatment for Healthier Pregnancies

So, there you have it. The answer to the question, “can you still get pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery?” is a resounding yes. In fact, having a baby after weight loss surgery is healthier than having one while still suffering from obesity.

Our resident specialist Dr Ken Wong is at the forefront of advanced weight loss surgery in Australia. Having performed hundreds of weight loss bariatric surgeries, Dr Ken Wong and Central Coast Surgery are the leading providers of bariatric surgery in Australia, and also the gastric sleeve cost Australia trusts. For more information on gastric sleeve surgery and other bariatric procedures, book a consultation or get in touch with our friendly team today on 02 4323 7000. Consult our Newcastle gastric sleeve specialists for personalized advice and treatment plans.