Intimacy and Libido After Weight Loss Surgery for Obesity

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Weight loss surgery is typically a life-changing event. In addition to shedding weight and kilos, bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, could bring about a range of other changes in life. For example, having a gastric sleeve. When you start to feel more pleased with your appearance, it can result in increased self-assurance and being more decisive. Yet, self-confidence is not the only factor involved, as numerous aspects of life (including sexual desirability) are intermingled. Prior to and after undergoing a procedure for weight loss for obesity, it is usually necessary for one to alter their lifestyle significantly.

One’s self-image will significantly change when one drops pounds. No longer will you simply live with obesity; instead, you will work to maintain the results of your bariatric surgery, aiming to reach a suitable weight and body mass index that is healthy.

  • You will be eating a lot less food after a gastric sleeve or similar bariatric procedure.
  • It is also likely you’ll be required to choose meals that are richer in protein and lower in carbohydrates.
  • You will also find you’ll likely be exercising more now than ever. That’s because as the weight comes off, you’ll feel freer to move AND more inspired to get in shape.

The nutrition your body obtains can be altered with different Bariatric treatments. If you have undergone gastric sleeve, gastric bypass or gastric balloon surgery, you may be recommended to take additional vitamins or dietary supplements as part of your healing process in order to maintain proper levels of nourishment. In most cases, you will have to adjust to the changes that the surgery has made in your diet, but some supplements may be necessary for you to take for the rest of your life.

Even though you may not have lost the pounds before your bariatric surgery, now that the weight is coming off your body, you should feel better, healthier, and more energetic every day. Climbing up steps won’t be as hard as it used to be, and in general, getting around will be simpler and cause less trouble for your joints as your weight decreases to a healthier range.

The type of bariatric procedure you have undergone doesn’t have an effect on the transformations you will have with a lap band, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass surgery. But what about your sex life? It is likely that there have gone through many alterations, or at least it will in the future.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

A category of medical operations, referred to as bariatric or weight loss surgery, is designed to assist individuals with obesity in their effort to shed excess weight. Healthcare providers may suggest bariatric surgery if other attempts at weight reduction have not been successful and if being overweight presents a bigger threat to your well-being than the surgery does.

Bariatric surgeries alter your digestive tract in order to regulate the amount of calories ingested and processed by your body, normally by modifying the size of your stomach and sometimes the small intestine. They can also suppress the hunger signals that send a message from your stomach to your brain.

These techniques can be used to both address and ward off various metabolic conditions which are connected to obesity, such as diabetes and fatty liver disease. But weight loss surgery isn’t an easy “quick fix”. Success will only come if one puts in the work beforehand and is willing to commit to living a different lifestyle in the long term.

Why Is Bariatric Surgery Done?

Bariatric surgery is the most effective method of dealing with severe obesity in the long term. The NIH has suggested that for individuals who have class III obesity, it is highly improbable for them to be able to maintain a healthy weight via only dieting and exercising. Once your body has identified your greater weight as its standard, it keeps on attempting to go back to that weight. Bariatric surgery alters the way your body responds to the food you eat, facilitating healthy and lasting weight reduction and improved overall health as a result of nutritional and lifestyle adjustments.

What Are the Different Types of Bariatric Surgery?

Gastric sleeve

The most frequently administered weight-loss procedure in the United States is the gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy. It is probable that this is so as it is a quite uncomplicated operation that can usually be done with little danger of detriments on most people. A gastrectomy consists of taking away a great deal of your stomach, usually about 80%, leaving only a small, sleeve-shaped section behind. The amount of food that can be eaten at one time is decreased through this, which leads to the feeling of being fuller quicker. However, it also diminishes the hormones that typically generate hunger in the abdomen. This assists in steadying your metabolism, reducing your hunger, and controlling your glucose levels.

Gastric bypass

The gastric bypass, which is referred to in French as the “Roux-en-Y,” is so named because the small intestine forms a Y-like shape after the procedure. At first, doctors perform a surgical procedure to make a tiny bag at the top of your stomach and use stitches to keep it separated from the segment below. Then they take your small intestine and attach it to the stomach pouch. The nourishment will now go through the newly designed, more minor stomach and lower part of the small intestine without needing to pass the other areas. This limits the capacity of your stomach and the ability of your small intestine to take in nutrients. Making the small intestine smaller increases the efficiency of this approach above than simply limiting the stomach.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS)

This is the prototypal type of duodenal switch operation, which unions a sleeve gastrectomy together with a small intestine bypass. This procedure also has a shortened name: Gastric Reduction Duodenal Switch. It resembles the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, yet it is more intense. This procedure involves going around the majority of the small intestine — approximately three-fourths. The hunger hormones created in both the small intestine and the stomach are greatly diminished by this. The amount of nutrition that your small intestine can absorb is severely limited by this. This is what gives the duodenal switch maximum efficacy when it comes to achieving weight loss and ameliorating conditions such as metabolic syndromes and diabetes. However, this may also cause difficulties for your body to ingest enough nutrients to maintain good health.

Stomach Intestinal Pylorus Sparing Surgery (SIPS)

This process has been altered compared to the first duodenal switch, with the aim of decreasing issues that may arise. This procedure may also be known as Loop Duodenal Switch or SADI-s. Researchers are still analyzing the initial data, but it looks favorable that this variant could potentially take the place of the initial duodenal switch. The procedure starts off the same way as before with a sleeve gastrectomy, and then the first section of the small intestine near the stomach (the duodenum) is cut. This time, the small intestine is reattached in a circle shape, thus necessitating a single surgical connection (anastomosis) as opposed to two. The result is that more of the small intestine is not gone around, allowing it to absorb some additional nutrients.

How Much Weight Do You Lose with Bariatric Surgery?

Nearly all individuals, constituting approximately 90%, experience a decrease in approximately half of their excess weight after going through bariatric surgery and maintaining their new physique. Different procedures have slightly different results. The average amount lost by people who have undergone gastric bypass is typically around 70% of their excess body weight. After a duodenal switch, it’s about 80%. The amount of weight lost following sleeve gastrectomy can be from 30 to 80 percent. The measurements were taken over a timeframe of 18 to 24 months.

What Are the Advantages of Bariatric Surgery?

  • Significant, sustained weight loss. Surgery is the only treatment that has been proven effective for class III obesity over the long term.
  • Reduced hunger hormones and improved metabolism. Surgery is the only obesity treatment that rewires your body’s metabolic programming after obesity to prevent weight regain.
  • Cholesterol and blood sugar control. Weight loss surgery often causes remission of diabetes symptoms and allows people with various metabolic syndromes to discontinue medications.
  • A longer, healthier life. In addition to reducing diseases and discomforts related to obesity, weight loss surgery can actually extend your life. Large scientific studies have shown that bariatric surgery reduces the risks of death from any cause by over 40%.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Bariatric Surgery?

You should anticipate devoting some time to healing in the hospital, followed by a couple of weeks of recuperation at home, before you will be fully prepared to return to the workplace. It is best to stay away from any physically demanding undertakings for around half of a year, and it may take as many as 12 weeks until you can go back to eating your customary meals.

What Is the Success Rate of Bariatric Surgery?

Surgical procedures for weight reduction are deemed to have been effective if one is able to lose half of their extra weight and keep it off. By this standard, the success rate is 90%. A lot of folks see their weight lessen steadily over the course of the initial two years but then may hit a plateau or regain some of that lost weight afterward. Usually, the weight regained is less than 25%.

Sex and Intimacy after Surgery – For Women

  • Hormones are intricately linked with a number of psychological and physical functions.
  • Hormone level changes can have significant impacts on your reproductive organs, your emotional well-being, and your libido.
  • In women, obesity tends to produce an excess amount of the hormone estrogen.
  • Having unbalanced levels of different hormones in your system can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms.

Thankfully, if you lose a substantial amount of weight, it is likely that your hormone levels will adjust and stabilize. It is best to consult an Endocrinologist or Bariatric Specialist to make sure that your hormones stay at balanced and normal levels as you shed pounds, particularly if you are looking to conceive a child or are nearing menopause.

Weight Loss Surgery Causes Hormone Levels to Stabilize and Causes Estrogen to Decrease, Which Essentially Lowers a Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer

Research indicates that females experience an improvement in their libido after either dropping pounds or going through weight loss surgery. This could be the outcome of greater self-assurance and self-worth, as well as modifications to hormones.

Body Weight and Intimacy: Up to 70% of Women Report Improvement in Their Sex Lives After Weight Loss Surgery

The research found that bemoaningly, almost 70% of female patients who had a weight loss operation noticed a significant improvement in their intimate lives after the operation.

In the study, 63% of female participants exhibited signs of sexual dysfunction. However, six months after their weight loss surgery, the same number of women showed improvement, with 68% reporting that their problems with intimacy had been corrected. When you become a healthier weight and have a healthier Body Mass Index, not only will your arousal increase, but your sexual desire, pleasure, and lubrication may also improve. For women who experience mild bladder leakage, pain with sexual intercourse, thinning of vaginal tissue, or an overly stretched vaginal area, the MonaLisa Touch laser system can be beneficial.

Sex and Intimacy after Surgery – For Men

Guys may suffer from difficulties achieving an erection or having difficulty breathing while having sex when they are not physically fit, carry excess weight, or are morbidly obese. Men who have a high level of obesity can experience a decrease in testosterone, which can cause a lack of sex drive or problems performing sexually. Men and women can also struggle with close or sexual relationships, commonly stemming from having low self-esteem or not being pleased with their physical appearance due to being overweight.

The higher your self-esteem, the more favorable your opinion of your appearance, and the more likely you will be to enjoy intimate encounters. Intercourse and closeness can be enhanced merely because you are inclined to think more positively about yourself after undergoing weight reduction surgery or succeeding at lowering a significant amount of weight or reaching a healthier Body Mass Index (BMI).

Possible outcomes may include continuing intimacy issues or even struggling in your relationships even after you have reached your goal weight. This is generally associated with foundational self-esteem issues related to your physical appearance or pessimistic things that you may have convinced yourself of for many years. Professional counseling or therapy can be beneficial in addressing issues of low self-esteem that may stem from negative feedback or experiences. It can aid in the healing process from past hurtful words or actions related to one’s body type or size.

The male hormone testosterone is necessary for the desire for sexual activity as well as for reproductive ability. Male weight loss surgery can be advantageous in that it brings testosterone hormone levels back to the level they should be. In a recent exploration, males indicated their sexual capacity/desire prior to and after their weight reduction medical procedures. The majority of the men who were surveyed said that their sexual performance improved once they had shed the extra pounds.

Losing Weight, Body Image, and Self-Esteem

Improving your fitness and slimming down can really help your self-confidence by showing you have achieved a substantial transformation of your body’s physical look.

No matter what gender and size you are, undergoing a weight loss operation is not always the appropriate solution for everyone. Obesity is a critical issue for those affected, and it comes with a multitude of potential surgical hazards. The risk of having surgery must be taken into consideration in comparison to the risk of keeping one obese, lower cardiovascular health, a high BMI, and diseases like Type II Diabetes, Gout, and regular skin ailments connected with one’s weight.

Weight reduction surgery may have the potential to enhance one’s physical intimacy, as well as improve their sex drive, though this outcome cannot be guaranteed; nonetheless, it is one of the various advantages associated with the procedure.


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