According to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, women that have weight loss surgery show improvements in both their physical health and their sex lives. The study found that female bariatric surgery patients have better desire and sexual functioning results after weight loss surgery. They also show improvements in hormone levels that are associated with sexual function. The study reports they believe they are the first one to study a large sample size on the changes that affect sexual behavior after bariatric surgery occurs.
About the Study
The study’s researchers looked at 106 women who underwent bariatric surgery who had an average body mass index of 44.5 before surgery. They found that a year after surgery occurred that a woman lost a third of her original weight and maintained it for at least another years. Just two years following surgery, the women reported significant changes in their sex lives involved with arousal, satisfaction, desire, lubrication and hormone levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol and testosterone. The study’s researchers were most pleased to see that the women who showed the most sexual improvement were also the ones who lost the most weight.
It is no secret that when a person loses a large amount of weight their overall mental quality of life increases too. It is important to note that the study’s researchers also found some women showed signs of dissatisfaction, which they believe may have already existed. They also believe that the increased self-esteem felt by the partner after losing weight may have influenced them to leave the patient who didn’t satisfy them.
Overall, the sample size was not very diverse and almost all participants were white and ¾ of them had a college degree. This is because the study sample was taken from the same hospital in North Dakota. While there isn’t much diversity, there are still connections that can be made from this sample size alone. The study’s author David B. Sarwer, Ph.D. believes that most of those who undergo bariatric surgery are overwhelmingly white, mostly because of access to health insurance.
Perhaps the most shocking and encouraging news from the study is that just two years after surgery, many of the women showed improvements in reproductive hormone levels leading to better chance of fertility. Ultimately, bariatric surgery may be able to add improvements in sexual health and fertility onto their benefits list when individuals are deciding whether or not to have bariatric surgery or not.
The team of this study also finished a similar study with male weight loss surgery that they will be publishing in 2014 regarding weight loss surgery and sexual improvements.