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Last Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

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Dr. Ruby SehraIVF Specialist • 36 Years Exp.MD / MS - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
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Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome occurs in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. It can also occur during ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination. It is a condition when the ovaries become swollen after a hormonal medicine is injected in them. These medications are injected to stimulate egg production. The overstimulated ovaries release chemicals into the bloodstream. However, the symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on your ovaries.

Mostly, the symptoms develop within 10 days of getting hormonal injections or medicine. They include:

1. Mild to Moderate-

2. Severe-

  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Thrombosis where blood clots are formed in the legs
  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Less urination and also the urine may be dark in color

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you should consult a gynecologist and your IVF doctor. However, the risk of getting ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is greater for women suffering from-

  1. Polycystic Ovaries
  2. Under 30 years of age
  3. Had ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome before
  4. Increase number of follicles
  5. Low body weight

If you are suffering from mild to moderate OHHS, it can get resolved within 7-10 days. Moreover, by taking care of yourself at home you should be better. Start having plenty of fluids. If you are experiencing pain, take paracetamol but avoid having anti-inflammatory medicines. However, if you have a severe case of OHHS, then other methods are used. They are:

  1. Changing Medications- The drug used to stimulate the ovaries is gonadotropins. Alternatively, if you have polycystic ovary and are undergoing IVF treatment, then your doctor can give you proper medications.
  2. Coasting- Women having high estrogen levels may have increased number of follicles. In such a case, your doctor may stop hormonal injections and wait a few days before injecting HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).This is known as coasting.
  3. Alternatives to HCG injections- As a shot of HCG can lead to OHHS, alternative to this hormonal drug have been developed like leuprolide (Lupron).
  4. Freezing embryos- When undergoing IVF treatment, your follicles can be removed from your body. These can then be fertilized and frozen, allowing your body to rest. You can resume the IVF treatment at a later stage.

However, if you develop OHHS and get pregnant at the same time, it may increase your complications and can become risky for your health. In such a situation, it is advisable to consult your doctor and wear socks at all times to avoid thrombosis. But, there is no information regarding any harm being done to your baby due to OHHS. So it’s not a scary thing and there is nothing dangerous or harmful to your baby.


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