Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and IVF

After going through two cycles of IVF, I have been lucky not to have OHSS. It is a potential side effect of IVF treatments. While OHSS is typically mild, but it can be life threatening. Catching the symptoms early can lower the risk of serious complications. You may have mild OHSS during your cycle, however, severe symptoms usually occur 6 to 8 days after egg retrieval.
Symptoms are:

Mild
  • Abdominal bloating and feeling of fullness

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Slight weight gain

Moderate
  • Rapid weight gain, more than 10 pounds in 3 to 5 days

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Severe Bloating

  • Severe nausea (so much that you can’t keep down any food or fluids)

  • Diarrhea

  • Skin and hair may feel dry

  • Thirst

  • Dizziness

Severe
  • Trouble urinating

  • Shortness of breath

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Fullness/bloating up above the belly button

  • Calf and chest pains

  • Lower abdominal pain

Prevention and Treatment
  • Avoid sexual intercourse

  • Reduce activities, no heavy lifting, straining, or exercise

  • Drink clear fluids around 10 to 12 glasses a day of ginger ale, cranberry juice, Gatorade, or ensure. ( I don’t remember where I saw that a doctor also suggested V8 juice.)

  • Total bed rest can increase the risk of some complications

  • Put your feet up. This helps your body get rid of the extra fluids

In rare cases when OHSS is severe, you may be hospitalized. The hospital may remove some of the fluids in your belly by needle. Usually the symptoms will decrease once you get your period.

If you get pregnant, your symptoms may stick around for several weeks. Pregnancy can also make the symptoms worse, so your doctor will want to monitor your situation carefully.

Sources:

About.com - http://infertility.about.com/od/infertilitytreatments/a/ohss_symptoms.htm
IVF.com - http://www.ivf.com/ohss.html

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