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Study: Weight Loss Surgery Can Regulate Menstrual Cycle, Improve Hair and Skin

Hemera/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- New research indicates that weight-loss surgery can help women regulate their menstrual cycles and reduce excessive hair growth and skin problems that go along with extra weight, Health Day reports.

During the study, conducted at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, scientists monitored 126 women ages 18 to 49 who were planning to undergo bariatric surgery, which reduces stomach size to make it easier for patients to decrease their food intake. All of the women involved were not yet approaching menopause. Researchers looked at the women's body mass index, since a high BMI creates hormonal changes, such as production of more male hormones, that lead to disturbances in the menstrual cycle.

The average BMI of the women in the study was 46, much higher than the average range of 18 to 24. Before surgery, 52 percent of women had regular periods, 39 had irregular periods and 22 percent had no periods. After surgery, the average BMI of the women dropped to 33, and 99 percent of the women who previously had irregular periods began menstruating on a regular basis again. Nearly 82 percent of the women who had reported no periods also began getting regular periods as well, according to Health Day.

Additionally, many women experienced less excess hair growth, hair loss, acne and a skin condition known as acanthosis nigricans that causes darkening of the skin, after the surgery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio