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Bariatric Surgery and IUD: Why You May Need to Switch from the Pill

By Fernando Garcia on March 02, 2017

Bariatric surgery and IUDPregnancy may be the furthest thing from your mind when considering bariatric surgery. It is something you should think about, however. Depending on the type of surgery you have done, you may need to choose an alternative form of birth control. The IUD, or intrauterine device, is a great choice for women who want a long-term birth control solution following bariatric surgery. The doctors at Tijuana Bariatrics in Mexico can discuss whether your bariatric surgery will require a method like the IUD.

Why Do I Need Birth Control after Bariatric Surgery?

Studies have shown time and again that as women lose weight following bariatric surgery, their fertility improves. Many obese women also experience irregular periods. This irregularity may continue for several months or more following weight loss. Ovulation, however, often returns much sooner. This can lead to an unplanned pregnancy if a birth control method is not in place.

If you didn’t use any form of birth control prior to your surgery for whatever reason, you should consider it if you think you might be sexually active after your weight loss. If you were on the pill prior to bariatric surgery, you may need to consider an alternative method.

What Type of Birth Control Should I Use?

If you were previously on the pill before undergoing bariatric surgery, you may need an alternative method. Malabsorptive procedures like the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass limit your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Because the pill is taken orally, it may be entirely ineffective for patients who have had a gastric bypass.

Fortunately, there are plenty of contraceptive alternatives to the pill. You should discuss these options with your gynecologist and your bariatric surgeon to avoid any potential complications. While some patients may choose the shot, ring, or implant, the IUD has become increasingly popular.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

The IUD is a form of long-term birth control that can last from three to 10 years. There are hormonal and non-hormonal options available. An IUD is currently the most effective form of birth control available. Not only is it more effective because it is implanted into the uterus, but it does not rely on perfect use by the patient.

Since the IUD is implanted, patients don’t have to remember to take a pill every (or go get a shot or remove a ring). This makes it a great choice, especially for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. You can feel confident in your post-weight loss body and in your low risk of pregnancy. It is important to remember that these are long-term birth control solutions. If you are planning to get pregnant within a year or two of your surgery, you may want to look into other alternatives.

Bariatric Surgery and IUD: What’s Right for You

Find out which bariatric procedure you will have done prior to making any changes to your birth control method. Once you know, you can discuss the various contraceptive options available to you. Contact us today to find out what’s right for you.

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Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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