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Study shows improvement in sex life post-surgery

At the five-year point, about 52 percent of women and 58 percent of men remained moderately-to-very satisfied with their sexual function, compared with about 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively, before surgery

Bariatric surgery can improve a patient’s sex life, according to a study presented at Obesity Week, an annual meeting hosted by American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society. The research suggests the effect may be long-term and similar for both men and women. The study seems to confirm previous research that showed improvements in patient’s sex lives following bariatric surgery.

The study was led by Dr Kristine Steffen, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Her team tracked outcomes for more than 2,000 people (nearly 80 percent women) who were surveyed about their sex lives for five years after they underwent bariatric surgery.

"Limited research has suggested that bariatric surgery is associated with short-term improvements in sexual function," said Steffen. "This study shows these improvements are long-lasting."

One year after the procedure, patients typically reported increased sexual desire and activity, greater satisfaction with sexual functioning, and fewer health-related limitations in their sexual activity, the study authors said.

The benefit appeared to continue long-term. Five years after the surgery, all measures of sexual functioning remained much improved compared to before surgery, Steffen's team reported.

At the five-year point, about 52 percent of women and 58 percent of men remained moderately-to-very satisfied with their sexual function, compared with about 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively, before surgery.

Similarly, about 39 percent of women and 55 percent of men said they were more sexually active after the surgery than they had been before, the study showed.

Depression was often a key factor, the study authors noted, with both men and women typically having improved sex lives after surgery if they had also achieved improvements in depression symptoms.

"Improvements in sex life are an additional benefit that goes beyond weight loss," said Dr John Morton, president of the ASMBS. He was not involved in the new study.

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American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

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