Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

What Is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)?

The medications (gonadotrophins) used to stimulate your ovaries during in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or associated procedures for fertility treatment are designed to ensure that a reasonable number of eggs are obtained to maximise your chances of pregnancy. OHSS happens when too many ovarian follicles have developed in response to the usual dosage of medication. It is a result of the hormones produced by the ovaries in response to the usual dosage of medication. It is a result of the hormones produced by the ovaries in response to the drugs given.

OHSS is usually mild and causes no more than a slight lower abdominal discomfort in most cases.

Although uncommon, it warrants medical attention as it can be potentially life threatening, if left untreated in severe cases.

When detected early and managed appropriately, the condition can be controlled.

Occurrence Of OHSS

Some 6% to 8% of patients undergoing IVF treatment will experience mild forms of OHSS. The severe form will affect less than 1% of patients.

Symptoms

You may be developing OHSS if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent lower abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloatedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dehydration
  • Reduction of urine volume
  • Abdominal pain

Medical Attention

OHSS is usually self-limiting and can then be treated at home with rest and adequate fluid intake. Immediate medical attention is required should the symptoms persist or worsen. In this instance, admission to hospital for treatment and close monitoring are required. Most of the time, the symptoms will subside in 5 to 15 days.

You should report any concern at any time to the KKIVF Centre or the Women's 24-Hour Clinic, which is located at Basement 1, Women's Tower.

Prevention

Prevention is the best form of treatment and we will endeavor to avoid OHSS at all stages.

Some women are more likely to develop OHSS, especially those with polycystic ovaries, those who are thin and those who had responded with many follicles or experienced OHSS in the past.

At KKIVF, we may recommend abandoning the cycle before the hCG injection if your risks of OHSS are high or unexpected rigorous response is encountered in your cycle.

If you are undergoing the IVF/ICSI programmes, your eggs may be collected but you may not have fresh embryo transfer. The resulting good quality embryos will be frozen for later use.

Hotlines

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are feeling well. You may be asked to come to the hospital and be assessed by a doctor.

Useful phone numbers

KKIVF Enquiries +65 6394 1694
Email kkivf@kkh.com.sg
Women's 24-Hour Clinic +65 6394 1190/7

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