CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Ibnosina Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 2024; 16(02): 038-048
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1779631
Review Article

Fertility and Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery: Challenges and Solutions

Angeliki Mina
1   Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Medicine, Yas Clinic Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Amna Asraiti
2   Department of Endocrinology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Elamin Abdelgadir
2   Department of Endocrinology, Dubai Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Introduction Obesity is increasing worldwide, and bariatric surgery (BS) is increasingly employed for weight management in women of reproductive age. An interplay between pregnancy and BS is very likely. A review of the challenges faced and solutions needed is warranted.

Materials and Methods A narrative, nonsystematic review of the international literature from a single online database (PubMed) was performed on July 23, 2023. All articles were included. The retrieved relevant literature is narrated in a concise thematic account.

Results BS carries major metabolic, mechanical, and vascular benefits, possibly accompanied by nutritional, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrient deficiencies, which might be clinical or subclinical. A few of the frequently reported postbariatric nutritional jeopardies could be augmented by the physiological changes of pregnancy, which need a different approach to management. Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy could carry both maternal and fetal short- and long-term risks. Fetal risks may range from miscarriage to low birth weight, neural tube defects, congenital anomalies, cognitive impairment, and internal organ dysplasia. Postbariatric status is, by default, a high-risk pregnancy category, given the altered biochemical, vasomotor, and mechanical indices of any lady treated with BS. Postgastric bypass hypoglycemia (PGBH) is a relatively common phenomenon during pregnancy, and it usually calls for multidisciplinary action to control. A dedicated monitoring protocol before, during, and after pregnancy has been suggested in several guidelines to guard against the potentially devastating consequences to both mother and fetus.

Conclusions Weight reduction after BS enhances fertility. The optimum timing for ladies treated with BS to get pregnant is not very well established yet. However, various societies have provided multidisciplinary management guidance of management prior to and during pregnancy. Many nutritional supplements that are not routinely prescribed during pregnancy will be essential for those treated with BS. Further studies are still warranted to ensure the safe interim between BS and conception as well as the safety of various doses of medications used for postbariatric individuals, for instance, medications used for PGBH.

Author Contributions

A.M. drafted the first version of the manuscript. All other authors read and approved the final version.

Compliance with Ethical Principles

Not applicable

Publication History

Article published online:
08 May 2024

© 2024. The Libyan Biotechnology Research Center. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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