Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS), is a metabolic disorder where undeveloped follicles collect on the ovaries causing a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance can affect fertility, increase body hair on some areas and thin hair in other regions. Sufferers have excessive fat around the midsection which they find difficult if not impossible to lose.
PCOS patients also tend to have insulin resistance or diabetes. Obesity is one of the listed causes of PCOS, but PCOS can also be the reason for the obesity. Gastric bypass offers an end to that catch 22.
Normally during a menstrual cycle, follicles grow within the ovaries and eggs develop within the follicles. The fastest egg to reach maturity will be released into the fallopian tube to await fertilization. The remaining follicles will degenerate.
If the egg isn’t fertilized, it happens again the next month. After a while the polycystic ovary will take on a grape-cluster appearance. The over abundance of follicles stimulate the hormones and create an imbalance inside the female body.
In PCOS, degeneration of the excess follicles doesn’t happen. When weight is lost, it is thought to somehow help degenerate the follicles instead of leaving them undeveloped. Gastric bypass surgery enables the PCOS sufferer to lose weight. Many times, when the excess weight is lost, the ovaries will return to normal and the symptoms of the syndrome will subside. Hormones will balance out and the woman can conceive.
Losing weight with gastric bypass surgery has also been linked to the spontaneous reduction of diabetic issues and pre-diabetes, also known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance and diabetes happens when the body does not properly utilize insulin and too much sugar builds up. When the body is rid of extra weight, it can better manage it’s insulin.
Opponents of using gastric bypass with PCOS patients argue that it is not safe with women who want to have children. The gastric bypass diet is unable to provide enough nutrition to a pregnant woman’s body and fetus and could cause an unhealthy pregnancy.
Supporters state there is a higher risk of complications, such as gestational diabetes, which they say is more likely to harm the fetus in obese women than gastric bypass patients. Ultimately, this will have to be a personal decision. If you choose to have gastric bypass surgery, then you become pregnant, your diet should consist of many small meals of proteins, fruits, veggies, and calcium supplements. Your doctor should closely monitor your health, and you should carefully follow her dietary advice.
In conclusion, PCOS can sometimes be effectively managed with gastric bypass surgery, but it isn’t a “cure” for everyone. The surgery is major and life altering, and there are always risks.
Gastric bypass surgery should only be performed on individuals who have given an honest effort at dieting and exercise. Women who want children should carefully consider their options and the possible consequences of their chosen actions. If the benefits outweigh the risks, then gastric bypass may be the right choice.