Does Excess Weight Affect Fertility?

Excess weight is an aspect of your health that can affect your fertility. Fat cells can change the way in which your body ovulates, which can make becoming pregnant less likely. If you are having a hard time getting pregnant and you feel that your excess weight might be causing the issue, receiving bariatric surgery could help.

Dr. Mustafa Ahmed is an experienced surgeon who performs several types of bariatric surgery at Southern Nevada Bariatrics. He helps patients in the Las Vegas area lose weight and become more fertile with a dedication to quality patient care and lasting results. 

For more information, call (702) 626-0499 or visit our contact page. 

About Excess Weight and Fertility

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for optimizing the chances of conception due to its direct correlation with hormone levels and overall reproductive function. Both fat cells and ovaries produce the hormone estrogen. When excess fat cells disrupt the balance of estrogen in the body, this can affect the ovaries in a way similar to birth control, limiting or halting ovulation entirely. (1) Obesity can also impact reproductive health by influencing the endometrial lining, the tissue that lines the uterus and plays a crucial role in embryo implantation. Changes in the endometrial lining due to obesity can reduce the likelihood of successful implantation, increasing the risk of miscarriage.

For men, obesity is linked to decreased sperm quality, including lower sperm count and motility. (2) These factors can impair male fertility and reduce the chances of conception. Furthermore, obesity-related hormonal imbalances can affect the production of testosterone, a key hormone for sperm production, further complicating fertility issues.

Unfortunately, losing excess weight is not always as simple as it sounds. For one reason or another, the normal techniques for weight loss such as diet and exercise may prove ineffective or otherwise incompatible with your lifestyle. To address this issue, there are different types of bariatric surgery that can lead directly to lasting weight loss. Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for surgeries that can encourage weight loss. Dr. Ahmed prefers two major weight loss surgeries, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy

Types of Weight-Loss Surgery

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery involves a surgeon modifying the stomach to make it smaller. While surgeons do not actually remove any part of the stomach, they make the functional part smaller by creating a smaller pocket with surgical staples. They also alter the small intestine so that this new pocket connects to a lower portion of it. These alterations have two major effects. The smaller stomach makes you feel fuller sooner, causing you to eat less. Receiving food from the stomach into a lower part of the small intestine, as well as having less surface area within the stomach, also causes less absorption of nutrients. Both eating less and processing less of the food that you eat will cause weight loss. 

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is another bariatric surgery that makes the stomach smaller, though the technique is different from a gastric bypass. It involves a surgeon segmenting out a small portion of the stomach into a tube-like shape. They remove the remaining stomach tissue from the body, effectively reducing stomach volume. By creating less surface area within the stomach, a sleeve gastrectomy reduces the amount of food energy that gets turned into fat. It also creates feelings of fullness sooner to prevent overeating. 

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Many benefits come with receiving bariatric surgery from Dr. Ahmed. These include:

  • Achieving sustainable weight loss
  • Eating less without the desire for more
  • Absorbing fewer calories
  • Enjoying all the health benefits that come with losing weight
  • Motivation to live a healthy lifestyle

Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

If you are struggling to get pregnant due to your excess weight but diet, exercise, and non-surgical treatments have failed to solve the issue, it may be worth exploring the benefits of bariatric surgery. This treatment can work well for anyone who is struggling to lose weight. Typically, patients who benefit from this treatment are at least 100 pounds overweight or have a BMI over 40. If you do not fit these criteria but you are experiencing a weight-related problem, you may still be eligible. (3) 

Although this procedure may be a solution to a health-related issue, you should still be in relatively good health if you want to benefit. This is an invasive surgery that requires the ability to heal properly. We can assess your eligibility in these terms at your consultation.

Personal Consultation

At your consultation, Dr. Ahmed will familiarize you with the bariatric surgery treatment process. He will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Together you will discuss your weight loss journey and the steps that you have taken so far. He will run some medical tests and ask you questions about your medical history. Dr. Ahmed must have a thorough understanding of your condition and your history to provide the best medical treatment he can. You can discuss your goals and he can determine if bariatric surgery is right for you. If you are unsure which type of bariatric surgery you want, Dr. Ahmed can recommend the best one for you based on the specifics of your case. 

To schedule your personal consultation, (702) 626-0499 or fill out this form.


Preparing for your bariatric surgery is an essential step in your treatment process. It involves all the ways that you can help us provide safe care and bring you effective results. Based on the findings of your consultation, Dr. Ahmed will create a personalized set of instructions to help you prepare. These may include changes to your everyday routine, so be sure to read and follow them carefully. You should lead a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet and regular exercise before your surgery. You should quit smoking if you are a smoker, and avoid blood-thinning substances like ibuprofen. All of these tips will help your body get through the surgery and increase your ability to heal. 

Bariatric Surgery Procedure

To prevent any potential discomfort during your procedure, we will provide general anesthesia. Dr. Ahmed will begin by making the incisions relevant to your bariatric surgery. Depending on your treatment plan, you may receive large incisions for an open surgery or small incisions for a laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves the use of a small camera inside the body during surgery to avoid the need for large incisions. This method can lead to less visible scarring and shorter recovery time, but it is not appropriate for everyone’s procedure. When Dr. Ahmed is finished with the surgery, he will close your incisions and we will look after you as the anesthesia wears off. 


You may experience some redness and swelling near your incision sites for the first few days after surgery. These symptoms are common and typically resolve themselves within a few days. You will need to refrain from eating for two days after your surgery so that your stomach can begin to heal. After this period, we will provide a diet plan that will change slowly over several weeks. This diet will have strict nutritional guidelines, and it will move from liquid, to soft, to solid foods as your recovery progresses. We will schedule several check-up appointments to closely monitor your health until you are fully recovered. In the long term, you will need to avoid overeating, as this can cause the stomach pouch to stretch. Eating slowly and paying close attention to feelings of fullness as they appear will help to prevent this. 


Because bariatric surgery changes the way you eat and process food, the weight loss results of your treatment will happen slowly. Many patients experience some weight loss and then plateau because they have not changed their lifestyle from before their treatment. Nutrition after bariatric surgery is an important aspect to consider. If you lead a healthy and active lifestyle catered to the details of your bariatric alteration, you will be amazed by the amount of weight that you can lose and keep off. 

How Much Does Sleeve Surgery Cost in Las Vegas?

The exact cost of your bariatric surgery will depend on the particular procedure that you receive and the details of your treatment. To learn more about how much bariatric surgery costs with Dr. Ahmed, call (702) 626-0499 or contact us online.


Can bariatric surgery improve my fertility?

Fertility can be affected by excess weight. Bariatric surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that alters how we eat and process food. This can lead directly to a loss in weight, which can in turn correct the lack of fertility caused by obesity. 

When can I resume my workout routine after bariatric surgery?

You should start taking light walks immediately after your bariatric surgery to increase blood flow and encourage healing. Try to get back into your workout routine slowly. Avoid strenuous activity for at least one month.

How long after bariatric surgery should I wait to get pregnant?

You should wait at least one year after your bariatric surgery before you start trying to get pregnant. This will allow your stomach to heal completely and your body to adjust to its new nutritional standards. 

How long does bariatric surgery take to complete?

Gastric bypass surgeries take from two to three hours to complete, while sleeve gastrectomies take from one to two hours to complete. Each procedure is unique and these estimates can vary depending on a patient’s treatment plan.


  1. Silvestris E, de Pergola G, Rosania R, Loverro G. Obesity as disruptor of the female fertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 2018;16(1). doi: 
  2. Darand M, Salimi Z, Ghorbani M, Sadeghi N, Babaie S, Hosseinzadeh M. Obesity is associated with quality of sperm parameters in men with infertility: a cross-sectional study. Reproductive Health. 2023;20:134. doi: 
  3. Stahl JM, Malhotra S. Obesity Surgery Indications And Contraindications. PubMed. Published 2020. 
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