OHSS: A big roadblock in the infertility treatment
Treatment of infertility is sometimes very challenging. While most of the cases are quite simple and we cure them on the basis of knowledge base collected by the previous cases. However, there are a few cases that place immense complication in front of me and I need to really work very hard to deal with the situation. Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS) is one of the same cases and I need to pay extra attention towards every minor and major symptom that is abnormal.
Ovarian stimulation is required during the treatment of infertility and in fact, it is one of the most integral parts of the entire process. Ovaries produce eggs that take part in the fertilization process. In the normal scenario, female body produces one egg at a time that gets released from the ovaries and reaches to the uterus through the fallopian tube. Extracting eggs is a complex and painful process and we as infertility experts don’t want to give trouble to the female participating in the process. We use special stimulant drugs to cause release of multiple eggs. The process is very safe and there are seldom any side-effects. However, there is a big challenge in a few patients when Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome occurs as a side-effect of these stimulant drugs.
What happens in OHSS?
Ovaries overreact to the stimulant drugs resulting in a severe swelling. Ovaries become multiple times bigger and there is a leakage of fluid in the abdomen. It is a fact that most of the women undergoing infertility treatment with ovarian stimulant drugs face OHSS symptoms, but many of them not even recognize it.
Who are in the risk zone?
There are a few females with very high risk of OHSS syndrome and we infertility expert estimate the risk before starting the ovarian stimulant drugs.
a) Females under the age of 35
b) Females with a history of OHSS in the earlier treatment cycles
c) Females suffering from ovarian cysts
These are the cases where there is a high probability of OHSS and therefore, we plan the treatment accordingly. Although there is no alternative other than giving stimulant drugs to release multiple eggs, but we try to keep the situation under control.
Types of OHSS