Transcript for Woman undergoes bariatric surgery to have baby
A "Gma" health alert about weight and pregnancy. A woman too heavy to under go ivf so had surgery and still struggled. We first saw the story in "The New York Times." Take a look. Gina had been trying to get pregnant for four years. If I had a choice to have a baby and have to cut off a limb I would do it. That's how upset I was an that's how much I wanted to have a family. Reporter: But accord to go her doctors it wasn't going to happen. I couldn't conceive because I was, you know, very heavy, very, very fat. Reporter: When conceiving naturally didn't work her and her husband looked into doing ivf. Multiple fertility doctors declined to help her get pregnant because of her weight offering no other explanation. At 317 pounds Gina not only suffering from the heart of break of not having a child but the pain of being called fat. I had heard all those negative comments from the first two physicians, I just had to change my body. Look at the train. Reporter: Gina says there was no reason to refuse her. Her blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal. But thinking that lowering her weight was the only solution she opted to have bariatric surgery to lose the weight. But even then she was unable to get pregnant. Virginia kohl-smith chronicling the story. You can have a healthy pregnancy at any weight. Reporter: Her journey leading her to a new facility and fertility doctor who had another approach. Trying an iui, increasing the number of sperm to reach the fallopian tubes. It is less invaive and that's how I conceived Logan. Reporter: Giving birth in 2018, a dream finally realized. All right, so let's bring in Dr. Jessica shepherd, an ob/gyn and you deal with fertility issues all the time. How do you explain this connection between weight and fertility. We D know there is a correlation when we look at weight and infertility and I think that, you know, what we know from the American society of reproductive medicine and society of reproductive technology they haven't made any recommendations when we look at fertility treatments and declining for women who might be obese so the real issue, it's not necessarily just getting pregnant when we have infertility. It's also staying pregnant. Yep. And also having a healthy pregnancy and we want healthy mom and baby at the end. Absolutely. I want to talk specifically about Gina for a second. Her story being dismissed by doctors because of her weight. Do you hear about that? Is that common. Yeah, her story is actually not unique. That's unfortunate so when we look at a physician and a patient relationship, the real heart of the matter is the emotional aspect of it. For anyone who walks in with a health condition or for infertility in this matter, you want to balk away and that patient wants to feel empowered and motivated to do the things they need to do. That's not how she felt. She felt she was dismissed and that's type of the relationship that we don't want to see in a health care relationship but also walking away from the situation, what can she take from it? She felt, you know, defeated at that point. I was very surprised to hear that not one doctor, but this was happening to her. So let me ask, do you have suggests for our audience who might be struggling with weight and fertility? What can they do right now. I think when we look at weight and infertility, I think this is something that affects one in eight couples, infertility so it is a common thing we see when women walk into our offices but what we want them to take away, we want them to be healthy and overall healthy and not to focus on things that are going to make them feel defeated such as doing fad diets but look at it interest a mind/body connection and what are they doing to take in the fact of I have infertile and need to lose weight and also any patient should be empowered to get a second opinion. Thank you so much you so great tips. Really appreciate it.
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