Bariatric Surgery and Conceiving a Child

Obesity is a rising problem in the western world. It is estimated that over one in four women of childbearing age is currently obese. Doctors believe that percentage will continue to rise over the next several years. Obesity makes it harder for women to conceive and also creates the potential for complications during pregnancy.

An increasing number of women who struggle with their weight are turning to bariatric surgery. There are several types of bariatric surgery. Each is designed to effectively decrease the size of the stomach, either by removing part of it or by implanting a band or similar medical device. While bariatric surgery poses its own set of risks for those who want to conceive a child, current medical research shows that conceiving a child after bariatric surgery is safer than conceiving a child while obese.

Some of the more common complications experienced by pregnant women who have had bariatric surgery include:

  • Band slippage
  • Band migration
  • Band leakage
  • Spontaneous miscarriage (for the 18 months immediately following bariatric surgery)

Obstetricians and gynecologists recommend waiting at least a year after having bariatric surgery before trying to conceive a child. Roughly one in four pregnancies within a year of bariatric surgery result in complications related to the bariatric surgery. When you do conceive a child, regardless of how long you wait, make sure that your health care providers are aware of your bariatric surgery.

Doctors recommend that women who have had bariatric surgery and want to conceive a child-after the year’s wait, of course-should consult their health care professionals regarding fertility options, nutrition, vitamin supplementation, and weight gain and loss during and following pregnancy.

Doctors stress that the potential effects on conception and pregnancy should not hinder women who struggle with morbid obesity from seeking help through bariatric surgery. The risks of morbid obesity, both to your ability to carry a baby to term and for your own long term health, generally outweigh the potential risks of bariatric surgery.

If you struggle with obesity and haven’t yet undergone bariatric surgery, talk to your doctor about your desire to conceive a child. She will be able to advise you regarding whether bariatric surgery is the best weight loss option for you.



What Are The Chances of Getting Pregnant with Low Sperm Count?




If a couple has been trying to conceive a child for a while, they may become worried that the man might have a low sperm count. If this is a concern, he can go to the doctor for a sperm count and motility assessment.

In a normal man, sperm levels should be between 40 and 300 million sperm per milliliter of semen. A semen sample with less than 20 million sperm per milliliter is considered to have a low sperm count.

It can be hard for a man to hear that he has a low sperm count. It can affect his feelings about himself and about his fertility. It may make him less likely to want to have sex with his wife. It is important that, if a man is diagnosed with low sperm count, the man doesn’t let it affect his self-esteem or his marriage.

Does a low sperm count diagnosis mean that the couple’s chances of conception are lower? It might, but there are measures the couple can take in order to increase their chances of conceiving.

The first thing they can do is avoid having sex too often or too far apart. If a man already has a low sperm count, having sex too often may deplete his sperm stores without giving his testes a chance to make more. Between 48 and 72 hours is an ideal time frame between sexual encounters while trying to conceive.

Next, the man should make sure that his testicles have room to regulate their temperature. Wearing underwear that is too tight, wearing pants that don’t breathe, or spending too much time in hot baths or hot tubs may decrease the testicles’ ability to keep their temperature stable and maintain ideal sperm production.

A balanced, healthy diet and ensuring to stay well hydrated can be also effective in improving sperm count. When a man is trying to increase his sperm count, he should eat a diet high in good-quality fat and protein and low in sugar and junk food. Mild to moderate daily exercise can help improve a man’s overall health as well as his hormonal and testicle health. He should, however, avoid heavy or excessive exercise, especially while wearing restrictive clothing.

It is always a good idea for him to avoid alcohol, smoking, and street drugs while trying to conceive, as those can all harm sperm production as well.

If none of those things helps improve the couple’s ability to conceive, and low sperm count is suspected, the doctor may recommend a more invasive and expensive course of action. The first option is IUI—intra-utero insemination, in which the sperm is sampled, cleaned and inserted into the cervix in order to fertilize the egg. The second option is IVF—in-vitro fertilization. This is when the sperm are harvested and combined with the egg in a petri dish, then implanted into the uterus. Both of these methods have relatively high success rates.

Hopefully, though, a diagnosis of low sperm count doesn’t necessarily mean that the couple will have to resort to these invasive procedures. With an overall improvement in the man’s health, his sperm count may go up, and it only takes one strong, healthy swimmer to fertilize the egg.

Understanding Cervical Dysplasia

There are many conditions that can interfere with pregnancy, or with your ability to get pregnant. One of the conditions that many women are concerned about when it comes to getting pregnant and to pregnancy is cervical dysplasia. Understanding what exactly cervical dysplasia is and how it’s diagnosed will help you understand the implications in regard to pregnancy and getting pregnant.

Cervical dysplasia refers to a condition in which abnormal cells appear on the surface of the cervix.  Cervical dysplasia can be severe, moderate, or mild.  Cervical dysplasia is considered to be precancerous and, if it is left untreated, cervical dysplasia can often progress into cervical cancer.  It can take as long as ten years for cervical cancer to develop from cervical dysplasia.

Fortunately for most women who suffer from cervical dysplasia, it usually isn’t a concern when it comes to getting pregnant. If it’s treated properly and if it doesn’t become cancerous, it should not interfere with your ability to get pregnant at all.

There are other concerns with this condition, however. Having cervical dysplasia may put you at risk for a number of other conditions, such as some STDs or sexually transmitted infections. These kinds of conditions can, of course, interfere with your ability to become pregnant. Chlamydia, in particular, can affect your fertility. Because it is often symptomless, it’s a surprisingly common problem for fertility.

If you do become pregnant and have had cervical dysplasia, there are some things you need to be aware of, as well. In some cases, if you have had repeated biopsies due to cervical dysplasia, it will be possible for your cervix to be shortened by the cervical dysplasia.  Even this condition should not prevent you from getting pregnant; however, if you do become pregnant, you will want to discuss the situation with your health care provider.  It may be that you will need to have a cerclage during your pregnancy.  A cerclage refers to a procedure when a small stitch or suture is placed in your cervix to help it keep closed during pregnancy.

Ultimately, you need to talk with your doctor about your cervical dysplasia if you have concerns about becoming pregnant, or if you are already pregnant.

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