Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome or OHSS is a rare complication that results from stimulation during a fertility treatment. The manifestation of this syndrome can range from mild discomfort to, in rare cases, a serious illness for which hospitalization is required.
Different symptoms become apparent depending on the severity of the overstimulation. Precursors to these symptoms (e.g. abdominal distention, nausea) can also appear during a normal stimulation process and require no treatment.
- Discomfort and minor pain, nausea, bloating sensation, discovery of ascites via ultrasound
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, oliguria (changes in urinary excretion), abdominal pain/upper abdominal pain, breathing difficulties, diaphragmatic irritation, ultrasound showing enlarged ovaries and significant ascites, tension in the stomach as a result of the ascites
The treatment depends on the severity of the OHSS.
- measures which can be applied at home (light forms)
rest, increase in fluid intake (at least 3 to 4 liters per day), cool compresses on the abdomen (reduction of blood flow to the ovaries). An protein rich diet, as well as, protein drinks available in pharmacies (ie. Formitel) are also beneficial
- to combat the symptoms of OHSS and improve the well-being of the patient
intravenous fluids, boosting the renal excretion of water, puncture to reduce pressure. The constant monitoring of symptoms is also necessary for the prevention of complications (monitoring of fluid excretion, waist circumference, blood parameters etc.). This is to ensure the prevention of severe complications, such as kidney failure or thrombosis.
- Close, outpatient care or hospitalization (severe forms)
If a severe form of OHSS occurs outpatient care or hospitalization may be required. This can be administered either in the gynaecological department of the Goldenes Kreuz (for patients with private insurance) or in the gynecological department of another hospital. In Vienna, the General Hospital (AKH), which is specialized in the treatment of OHSS, and the SMZOst are recommended.
If the symptoms of OHSS intensify after the ovum pick-up and may become severe we advise you to cancel the embryo transfer. The embryos will be cryopreserved and can be used for a follow-up cryo cycle.