Bariatric surgery is an operation on an individual's stomach and/or intestines that helps patients with extreme obesity to lose weight. It is the most effective way to counter morbid obesity and results in substantial weight loss and reduces other health-related conditions. A new study has found that this weight loss surgery not only helps you to shed kilos, but it also helps boost intimacy between partners, adding a spark to their sex life.
The research team interviewed ten couples about the effects of the weight loss surgery that one of the partners had undergone. Mary Lisa Pories of East Carolina University in the US and study leader, said, "All the couples felt their post-operative success was due to a joint effort on the part of both members of the couple."
For Pories, the importance placed on couples' shared experiences of the bariatric surgery raises questions about how patients without active support systems manage post-operatively. Several other themes also emerged during the study. Couples also highlighted the adjustment that was needed to adapt to their partners' significant weight loss. They also had more energy, and needed to adjust to new eating habits. On the emotional front, the couples reported more positive moods and better self-esteem. They also reported sharing greater intimacy and affection towards each other, and being better able to resolve conflict. Their sexual relationships improved and, in many cases, became more enjoyable.
Pories believes that a better understanding of what impact a bariatric surgery has on a couple's relationship could help physicians, nurses and social workers to support patients and their partners more effectively.
The study findings are published in Obesity Surgery.