Ovarian hyperstimulation...the hidden facts

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a complication from some forms of fertility medication. Most cases are mild, but a small proportion are severe.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is particularly associated with injection of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is used for inducing final oocyte maturation and/or triggering oocyte release. The risk is further increased by multiple doses of hCG after ovulation and if the procedure results in pregnancy.

Using a GnRH agonist instead of hCG for inducing final oocyte maturation and/or release results in an elimination of the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, but a slight decrease of the delivery rate of approximately 6%.Symptoms are set into 3 categories: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild symptoms include abdominal bloating and feeling of fullness, nausea, diarrhea, and slight weight gain. Moderate symptoms include excessive weight gain (weight gain of greater than 2 pounds per day), increased abdominal girth, vomiting, diarrhea, darker urine and less in amount, excessive thirst, and skin and/or hair feeling dry (in addition to mild symptoms). Severe symptoms are fullness/bloating above the waist, shortness of breath,pleural effusion, urination significantly darker or has ceased, calf and chest pains, marked abdominal bloating or distention, and lower abdominal pains (in addition to mild and moderate symptoms).