What is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)?

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is a problem that occurs in women who use fertility medicines that help to stimulate egg production. In simple terms, it is the swelling of the ovaries and abdomen after use of injectable hormones medications that are used during IVF or IUI treatments. This condition can lead to painful and swollen ovaries.

What causes Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome?

The causes of OHSS are not yet fully understood, although high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin plays a role in OHSS. The blood vessels in the ovaries react abnormally to HCG, and leaks some fluid that makes the ovaries swell, and sometimes the fluids may get into the abdomen.

HCG may be administered to stimulate the mature follicle to release an egg during the fertility treatments. Generally, OHSS will occur one week after you get a HCG injection, and the condition can get worse if you get pregnant during the treatment.


What are the symptoms of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome?

Symptoms associated with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome start 10 days after the use of the injectable medication. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and in some cases they may worsen or improve.

Mild to moderate OHSS symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased waist size or abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness in ovaries area

Severe symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Breath shortness
  • Dark urine
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Decreased urine
  • Severe vomiting and nausea
  • Enlarged ortightabdomen

When should I visit the Denver fertility doctor?

If you are undergoing fertility treatments in Colorado and experience OHSS symptoms, inform you doctor immediately and let him or her carry out some tests and observations on signs of weight gain or other unusual symptoms.

Pain in your legs and breathing problems may suggest a situation that needs prompt medical attention.

What are the risk factors associated with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome?

Young women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome and who have many follicles have a high risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Factors that increase the risks of OHSS include:

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Migraine headaches
  • Low body weight
  • Young age
  • Large number of antral follicles
  • Previous episodes of OHSS
  • Increased or high levels of estradiol
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Your doctor will diagnose your condition based on:

Blood test: The test will enable the doctor to examine your blood concentration and check if the OHSS is impairing the functions of the kidney.

Physical exam: The fertility specialist in Denver will check for any abdominal pain, increased waist size, and weight gain.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound scan will show whether the ovaries are bigger than expected or presence of fluid-filled cysts.

How can Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome be Treated?

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is known to resolve on its own within a period of one to two weeks, but it may take longer for pregnant women. Treatment helps you feel comfortable, avoid complications and also decrease the activities in the ovaries.

Treatment options for moderate OHSS include:

  • Patience until it goes away on its own
  • Use of anti-nausea medications or painkillers
  • Drinking enough fluids
  • Blood tests to help monitor your dehydration and electrolyte balance.
  • Physical examinations and ultrasound scans
  • Measurement of your waist on daily bases to check for any change.

For severe OHSS, the top fertility doctor may recommend admission to the hospital for close monitoring and  treatment.   Other medication such as cabergoline may be used to lessen the symptoms. Also, you may need to use anticoagulant medications to reduce the risk of blood clots occurring in your legs.

For assistance with all your fertility goals, call Rocky Mountain Fertility Center today. Dr. Smith has over 20 years experience in helping women achieve success, with comprehensive options being offered at several locations in Denver, Castle Rock and Rapid City.

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Posted in: Infertility Treatment

Leave a response

Request an Appointment

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • We will contact you within 2 business days to schedule your appointment
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.