Infertility is a major health challenge globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that nearly one in every six people of reproductive age worldwide (over 17 per cent of the adult population) are affected by infertility. Luckily, there are plenty of advanced fertility treatments to attain parenthood. Fertility treatment can be a blessing for couples who are struggling to conceive. However, these treatments are not without risks. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is one such risk.
To understand what Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is and how to prevent or manage the condition, we connected with Dr. Plabani Sarkar, Reproductive Medicine Specialist, H.S.R Layout, Bangalore. Read on
Q. What is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)?
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a condition that can occur as a result of fertility medications, and it causes the ovaries to become enlarged and filled with fluid. This can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to potentially life-threatening complications.
Fortunately, it is possible to take measures to control and prevent OHSS symptoms while undergoing reproductive treatment. Thus, it is crucial to be aware of the symptoms and signs of OHSS and to get help right away if they appear. One can lessen their risk of developing OHSS by carefully adhering to their doctor’s advice and making efforts to maintain good health and hydration. However, with proper management and prevention, one can ensure a safe successful fertility treatment-
Q. What to do if I develop OHSS symptoms while undergoing fertility treatment?
If you have OHSS symptoms while undergoing fertility therapy, you must seek medical help immediately. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, bed rest, and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Also, hospitalization may be required in extreme situations. Hence, it is critical to stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids, especially water, as well as to relax and avoid strenuous activities. Your doctor may recommend drugs to help balance your hormones or minimize inflammation. So, in order to guarantee the efficiency of these medications, they must be taken exactly as prescribed.
Furthermore, regular hormone monitoring can aid in spotting any issues in the early stages, enabling rapid treatment to avoid OHSS. Thus, to lower the risk of OHSS, further measures including changing medication dosages or freezing embryos may be advised. One can effectively manage OHSS symptoms while undergoing fertility treatment by collaborating closely with your healthcare practitioner and making efforts to be healthy and hydrated.
Q. Is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome preventable?
While OHSS cannot be entirely prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition. Here are some strategies to consider-
Use medications as directed: When taking fertility medications, it’s critical to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. The risk of OHSS can rise if you take more medication than is advised or use it for longer than advised.
Monitoring hormone levels: In order to be sure that your ovaries are reacting properly to the medicine, your healthcare professional may check your hormone levels while you are undergoing fertility treatment. This can aid in the early detection of potential issues and enable rapid treatment to prevent OHSS.
Adjust dosage: To lessen the risk of OHSS during fertility treatment, the doctor can adjust the amount of your medicine. For instance, they might suggest switching to a new drug or prescribing a lesser dosage of the current one.
Freeze embryo: If you’re having in vitro fertilization (IVF), the doctor can advise freezing your embryos rather than immediately transferring them. Thus, by giving your body time to recuperate from the fertility drugs before transferring the embryos, you can lower your chance of OHSS.
Q. Your message to women undergoing or considering fertility treatments?
While receiving fertility therapy, OHSS is a potentially dangerous complication that can happen. Thus, it is critical to get medical help right away if you develop OHSS symptoms. As it is impossible to completely prevent OHSS, there are precautions one can take to lower the chance of getting the condition. Moreover, by following the doctor’s introductions carefully and taking steps to stay healthy and hydrated, one can help prevent OHSS and ensure a safe and successful fertility treatment.