Washington: Penn State College of Medicine researchers have found that losing weight does not lead to improved fertility in women, but does improve sexual function.“Obesity in women has been linked to lack of ovulation and thus infertility,” said Richard Legro, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology.“Obesity, especially cantered in the abdomen, among infertile women seeking pregnancy is also associated with poor response to ovulation induction and with decreased pregnancy rates,” he noted.Obese women are often told to lose weight prior to conception, so researchers looked at changes in reproductive function after gastric bypass surgery.One way to learn more about the effects of obesity on reproduction is to study women after bariatric surgery, since a large amount of weight is lost in a relatively short period of time.Each person can be studied while obese and after surgery to detect changes.Researchers followed 29 morbidly obese women -- women whose body fat accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health -- of reproductive age for up to two years after Roux en Y gastric bariatric bypass surgery. Roux en Y is a procedure that creates a small pouch in the stomach that is directly connected to the midsection of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.Ovulation frequency and quality was determined by collecting daily urine specimens over the course of a menstrual cycle and measuring ovarian hormones.The researchers were surprised to find that ovulation rates remained high (more than 90 percent at all time points before surgery and at one, three, six, 12, and 24 months after surgery). The quality of the ovulation also remained unchanged, and there was little effect on the ovarian cycle.
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