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Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can be a real concern for women undergoing various forms of assisted reproductive technology. Contact us to talk with a fertility expert to put your mind at ease.

Your doctor at the Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles can provide OHSS treatment using the safest and most advanced methods of care within the fertility industry. Under PFCLA’s care, this complication can be resolved so you can realize your goal of growing your family.

What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome?

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a medical condition that can develop as a result of hormonal therapies and medications used to stimulate egg production. OHSS can occur in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI) or ovulation induction. 

Under normal circumstances, a woman produces one egg per month. However, women struggling with infertility may be given medications to stimulate additional egg production. 

In some cases these medications can overstimulate the ovaries, and result in over 20 eggs being produced in one cycle. This can cause the ovaries to become swollen and painful, with a risk of fluid leaking to the stomach and chest areas. Many cases are mild, while others may result in severe illness.

Symptoms of OHSS

Symptoms of OHSS typically begin several days after using injectable medications. Some of the most common symptoms of OHSS include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating or an increase in waist size
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Tenderness in the area where the ovaries are located
  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss

Severe symptoms of OHSS include:

  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • A “tingling” sensation in the arms or legs
  • Blood clots in the legs

OHSS treatments and prevention

While you are taking fertility drugs, your doctor will continue to monitor your health. It’s imperative that you make your doctor aware of any abnormalities, issues or concerns. Heightened estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels, or large follicles can increase the risk of OHSS. For mild cases of OHSS you may consider:

  • Taking an over-the-counter medication for pain
  • Relaxation and rest
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse
  • Avoiding caffeinated beverages
  • Avoiding alcoholic beverages
  • Drinking water and beverages that can replace your body’s electrolyte levels

Based on the severity of your condition, OHSS can also be treated with medication. In some instances, hospitalization may be required. At PFCLA, we design your treatment plan to keep you relaxed and comfortable while decreasing your ovarian activity.

Tips to minimize IVF complications

Discover various fertility services that can minimize your risk of possible health complications due to assisted reproductive technology.

Give your body downtime

Leverage frozen embryo transfers to preserve your fertility, give your body downtime between treatments or after procedures and repeat IVF cycles if your first attempt is unsuccessful.

Read more →

Consider natural IVF

Experience no risk of medication side effects and no waiting periods with natural IVF, a form of IVF that doesn’t use fertility medications and follows your natural cycle.

Read more →

Manage your medication intake

Explore medications helpful in overcoming female infertility and achieve a successful pregnancy with options that cater to your fertility needs, health and personal preference.

Read more →

treating ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
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