Weight Loss Surgery and the gift of Motherhood

Mother’s Day is not too far away and many are gearing up to celebrate mothers and all the important women in their lives who are mothers-in-waiting or fill this special gap in the lives of others.  However, there is a select group of women who struggle in silence with the desire to become mothers but have trouble falling pregnant due to obesity.  Obesity has been classified as a disease by the World Health Organization because of all the problems it brings on the body.  Women desiring to be pregnant and entering this privileged status of motherhood are not exempt from the

Obese and excessively overweight women usually take longer to conceive naturally because of the difficulty for the eggs to be fertilized.  They can be afflicted by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition where the oestrogen and progesterone hormones are out of balance.  This leads to the growth of benign masses on the ovaries and it affects a woman’s monthly cycle, fertility and even appearance.  It is common for the affected women to have more bodily hair, smaller breasts, to be quite muscular and have large ovaries with cysts around them.

Bariatric surgery has been shown to positively improve life expectancy, quality of life, comorbidities like Type 2 Diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. Although more research is required to identify which weight loss surgery results in the most significant improvement in fertility of women with PCOS, doctors have seen marked improvements in the natural conception of clients who undergo bariatric weight loss treatment.

Women who undergo the treatment have fewer complications while carrying their child to term, they can avoid the chances of having a caesarean delivery and they reduce the chances of developing gestational illnesses like hypertension and diabetes.

The gift of health for these women becomes a gift of health for their babies too.  Women, especially African women play such a vital role in the family; nurturer, protector, provider.  Their optimum health becomes the ideal health for the whole family.  #HealthyMumHealthyFamily.

By C. Njuguna

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