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Facts about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)                      Send Link

 The medications used to stimulate your ovaries may cause side effects. These side effects can range from mild to severe. Excessive stimulation of the ovaries is called ovarian hyperstimulation. This may require removing some of the fluid in our office and/or a hospital stay in approximately 1 % of the patients. Be aware of body changes and ask your primary nurse if you have any questions or concerns. She will contact the physician if necessary. You may have symptoms of mild hyperstimulation during your treatment cycle, however, moderate and severe symptoms usually occur 6-8 days after treatment ends.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS WHY IT HAPPENS WHAT TO DO
Mild
You may experience:
- Abdominal bloating and feeling of fullness
- Nausea
- Diarrhea
- Slight weight gain
This may be due to:
- Ovaries are larger than normal, tender and fragile
- High level of estrogen (E2) and progesterone in the bloodstream may upset your digestive system and fluid balance causing bloating.
Recommended treatment:
- Avoid sexual intercourse
- Do not have a vaginal (pelvic) exam other than by one of our physicians
- Reduce activities, no heavy lifting, straining or exercise
- Drink clear fluids, flat coke, ginger ale, cranberry juice, Gatorade or Ensure
Moderate
You may also experience:
- Weight gain of greater than 2 lbs. per day (excessive weight gain)
- Increased abdominal measurement causing clothes to feel tight
- Vomiting & diarrhea
- Urine is darker and amount is less
- Skin/hair may feel dry
- Thirst
This may be due to:
- High levels of hormones in the bloodstream upset the digestive system
- Fluid imbalance causes dehydration because body fluids collect in the abdomen and other tissues
- This fluid collection causes severe bloating
As noted above plus:
- Call our nurses
- You may need to be seen by a physician who will do an ultrasound
- Record your weight twice daily
- Record the number of times you urinate each day
- Contact our office if you note a five pound weight gain over the previous 24 hours, note a drop in the frequency of urination (~50%), or increasing pelvic pain
Severe
You may also experience:
- Fullness/bloating up above the belly button
- Shortness of breath
- Urination has reduced or stopped and become darker
- Calf pains and chest pains
- Marked abdominal bloating or distention
- Lower abdominal pain
This may be due to:
- Extremely large ovaries
- Fluid collects in lungs and/or abdominal cavity, as well as in tissues
- The risk of abnormal blood clotting increases
As noted above plus:
- Notify the physician on call
- You may need to be assessed at the hospital or our clinic
- Excess fluid may need to be removed from your abdominal cavity

 

If your period starts, you will likely begin to feel better. Pregnancy may prolong or exaggerate these side effects. It may take up to 10 weeks for the symptoms to resolve if you are pregnant. Remember: The fact sheet is only a guide and not intended as a substitute for medical care.