24th April 2013 | by MFC Team
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A risk factor for some fertility treatments
Ovulation induction is a common fertility treatment that involves the use of medications to stimulate ovulation when a woman does not ovulate regularly (oligoovulation) or when a woman doesn’t ovulate at all (anovulation). It is also routinely used during in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and egg cryopreservation cycles to stimulate the release of a number of eggs. Although women are carefully monitored when undergoing ovulation induction, there is always a small risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a relatively rare, but serious health condition.
Typically, the onset of symptoms of OHSS typically occur soon after a woman ovulates or after her eggs have been retrieved from her ovaries. Although some women may experience a mild form of OHSS that will typically resolve within a week, others can develop a moderate or more serious form of this condition, which may require hospitalization and medical attention. Symptoms of a mild case of OHSS may include lower abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More serious symptoms include rapid weight gain from a build up of fluid in the abdomen, difficulty breathing, and diminished flow of urine. In the most severe cases, if untreated, OHSS may be life-threatening – resulting in renal failure, thromboembolism, or hemorrhage from a ruptured ovary.
If you are experiencing symptoms of OHSS after ovulation induction, it is imperative that you contact your fertility specialist immediately. In severe cases go immediately to the nearest hospital and be sure to tell the emergency room staff that you have undergone ovulation induction.
To read more about OHSS, click here.