Reducing Your Risk Of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome During In-Vitro Fertilization

If you have been working with a family planning specialist to plan an in-vitro fertilization treatment, your doctor may have mentioned the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This condition can occur as a side effect of the hormone therapy required for in-vitro fertilization. Often called OHSS, the condition causes various symptoms such as weight gain, nausea, abdominal pain, and enlarged ovaries. In most cases, OHSS is minor and goes away on its own. In other cases, it can cause more serious concerns. Here are some tips to help you minimize your risk of OHSS while undergoing IVF therapy.

Request Complete Testing

When your family planning specialist runs the full test panel at the clinic, request a transvaginal scan as well. This exam allows the doctor to examine your ovaries for any indications of cysts. Cyst development can mean that you're more sensitive to OHSS symptoms.

Your doctor should also run blood hormone tests. This will help to accurately assess your risk of PCOS, which can be a precursor of OHSS. The more recent the testing, the more accurate your doctor's general assessment will be.

Ensure Proper Dosing

The accuracy of your medication doses is paramount to your safety during IVF treatment. High concentrations of the hormones used during IVF can increase your risk of developing OHSS. To help control this risk, your care providers will probably start you on the lowest possible dose based on the results of your tests. You can also ask for routine ultrasounds and bloodwork to test for any adverse reactions. The sooner you catch and address problematic changes, the less risk you'll have of developing OHSS.

Be Reasonable About Retrieval

In some cases, it's beneficial to delay the retrieval of eggs in an effort to reduce your risk of OHSS. If your blood tests show high estrogen levels or there is any indication of increased follicle development, your doctor may suggest that you reduce or stop your medication for a few days. The process is often referred to as coasting, and it's been shown to help minimize your risk of OHSS and other issues.

Since in-vitro fertilization can come with some serious health concerns like OHSS, it's important that you understand how to control your risk factors. With the information presented here and an open discussion with your doctor, you'll be in a better position to take control of your care and help to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

If you're looking for an OB/GYN clinic near you to help answer your questions about OHSS, check out one like Abortion Care.