Individuals with obesity are at higher risk of experiencing complications during their pregnancy and may also experience infertility, requiring assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to conceive. The current body of literature demonstrates that bariatric surgery decreases an individual’s risk of developing a variety of obesity-related obstetrical conditions during and after pregnancy. However, the effects of bariatric surgery on ART outcomes are not well understood. Therefore, the paucity in the literature warrants a need to determine these effects.
We will search electronic databases, including MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), as well as the gray literature and the reference lists of included articles. We will screen all studies published between January 1978 and the present day that explore the impact of bariatric surgery on ART outcomes for women and men. We will include observational studies. Two independent reviewers will assess the studies for inclusion and extract data for each article. The main outcome that will be analyzed is live birth rate. Secondary outcomes such as time to conception, number of rounds of ART, type of bariatric surgery, and length of time between bariatric surgery and initiation of ART will also be recorded. Risk of bias will be conducted using the National Institutes of Health Study Quality Assessment Tools. A random effects model will be used to account for statistical analysis and results will be pooled with forest plots. In the event of statistical and reporting heterogeneity, we will provide a qualitative synthesis and narrative review of the results.
This review will provide information on the outcomes of ART following bariatric surgery and may help healthcare professionals make informed decisions about the length of time between bariatric surgery and initiation of ART. The study findings may be of interest to various stakeholders including patients, bariatric surgeons, obstetricians, and gynecologists, and those who specialize in obesity medicine and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. We plan to disseminate our findings through presentations, publications, and social media releases to individuals who are navigating infertility and are interested in undergoing or have undergone bariatric surgery, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and researchers.
Systematic review registration