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Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is an over response to the use of ovulation induction medications, especially injected medications. Women with OHSS have enlarged ovaries and an increase of fluid leaking from the blood capillaries causing fluid to accumulate in the abdomen. Onset of OHSS symptoms typically occurs soon after egg retrieval and can last a couple of days to a week or two depending on the severity.

What should I be looking out for?

A mild form of OHSS occurs in 10% to 20% of cycles and almost always resolves without complications. Common symptoms of mild OHSS include lower abdominal discomfort, bloating, mild nausea and vomiting. On rare occasion, about 1% of cycles, the severe form of OHSS will occur. Symptoms of severe OHSS include abdominal pain, rapid weight gain, decreased urine output, abdominal distention (swelling) nausea and fatigue.

How is OHSS treated?

Treatment of OHSS would consist of increasing fluids, electrolyte supplementation, and a decrease in physical activity. Almost always bed rest is not recommended because it may increase the risk for a blood clot. It is important to report any symptoms of mild or severe OHSS as soon as possible. Your physician may want to monitor your blood levels and perform an ultrasound for appropriate treatment to be given. Never self treat OHSS with diuretics, as you may become dehydrated or have an electrolyte imbalance.

Who gets OHSS?

Some risk factors for OHSS include being young, having a low body weight and having been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS.)

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