Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
OHSS is probably the most important side effect associated with treatment. Any patient undergoing assisted conception treatment should read the following very carefully and be sure to report any suspected symptoms to a member of staff at the clinic.
OHSS is caused by an exaggerated response by the ovaries to the drugs which are used for stimulation (e.g. Metrodin, Puregon, Menopur). This occurs most commonly in IVF cycles where larger doses of drugs are used and about 5% (one in twenty) of IVF patients suffer from the effects. It is less common in IUI and DI treatments because the dosage of drugs used is lower. Very rarely patients taking Clomiphene (Clomid) or Tamoxifen can suffer from symptoms.
Very rarely OHSS can become a very serious condition requiring hospital admission and careful monitoring with specialist treatment. Read more about this in the RCOG OHSS Leaflet.
Symptoms of OHSS
Abdominal discomfort from the enlargement of the ovaries, feeling bloated, feeling pressure in the pelvic area and discomfort during intercourse are all symptoms associated with the mild form of the syndrome.
Enlargement of the abdomen with pain, ovarian cysts and nausea/vomiting are all symptoms of the moderate form.
All the symptoms of the milder forms as well as diarrhoea, more fluid in the abdominal cavity causing more enlargement and bloating, difficulty breathing, decrease in urine volume and swollen leg(s) due to oedema are all symptoms of the severe form of OHSS.
If you have any significant symptoms similar to those described above then please contact the Fertility Centre on (01743) 261202 or out of normal office hours the Gynaecology ward (01743) 261210.
In the unlikely event you are unable to contact either of the above you should contact your GP explain what treatment and drugs you are on and your symptoms.