Roux-en-Y gastric bypass ameliorates polycystic ovary syndrome and dramatically improves conception rates: a 9-year analysis

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2012 Jul-Aug;8(4):440-4. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2011.09.022. Epub 2011 Oct 6.


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infertility, especially in the morbidly obese. We evaluated the long-term effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on PCOS and infertility.

Methods: A total of 566 morbidly obese women underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass from 2000 to 2009. A total of 31 patients (5.5%) had a history of PCOS. Of the 31 patients, 6 were postmenopausal and 5 lost to follow-up and were excluded. Telephone interviews were conducted with the 20 eligible patients.

Results: The mean age and body mass index was 32 ± 5.8 years (range 22-42) and 52.8 ± 9.08 kg/m(2) (range 37-76) before surgery. All 20 patients had ≥ 2 of 3 diagnostic criteria for PCOS, including clinical or biochemical evidence of hyperandrogenism, anovulation, or polycystic ovaries. Of these, 85% had oligomenorrhea, 70% had hirsutism, and 45% had type 2 diabetes mellitus with medication. Before surgery, 8 patients conceived with or without hormonal treatment, 2 did not desire pregnancy, and 10 did not conceive. The mean follow-up was 46.7 months. After surgical weight loss, menstruation was corrected in 82%, hirsutism had resolved in 29%, and 77.8% of those with diabetes had complete remission. Of the 10 patients who did not conceive before surgery, 4 no longer desired pregnancy, and the remaining 6 patients had become pregnant within 3 years of surgery-5 without any hormonal treatment and 1 with in utero insemination.

Conclusion: Surgical weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass achieves excellent amelioration of PCOS manifestations and the postoperative conception rate in infertile PCOS subjects desiring pregnancy was 100%.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / surgery*
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / etiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / surgery*
  • Preconception Care / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult