Women who undergo bariatric surgery to achieve weight loss have significant improvements in sexual function, according to research published in JAMA Surgery.

David B. Sarwer, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues prospectively monitored changes in sexual functioning, reproductive hormone levels, and psychosocial measures in a cohort of women who underwent bariatric surgery to achieve weight loss.

The researchers found that the women lost about a third of their initial body weight following bariatric surgery. At two years, the patients reported significant improvements in overall sexual function, including arousal, lubrication, desires, and satisfaction. Significant changes in levels of reproductive hormones were observed. After the first year, the women reported significant improvements in most domains of quality of life, body image, and depressive symptoms; these changes were maintained throughout the second postoperative year.

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“These results suggest that improvements in sexual health may be added to the list of benefits associated with large weight losses seen with bariatric surgery,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies and/or companies offering products or services related to weight loss, including bariatric surgery.