Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Another very important reason that the doctors wanted to monitor my ovaries so closely, was because of the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. They were exceptionally concerned because of my heart. They knew that my heart would not be able to handle any additional fluid.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) usually occurs as a result of taking gonadotropins — hormonal medications that stimulate the production of eggs in a woman’s ovaries.

Sometimes, too many follicles begin to develop in the ovaries, causing them to become swollen and enlarged. OHSS can cause severe pain and trigger the release of fluid into the abdomen and lungs.

If left untreated, OHSS can result in serious health complications. Severe cases of OHSS are rare, but they have been known to lead to permanent injury and even death.

Possible complications include:

Twisting of the swollen ovaries (which may require their removal and loss of fertility)
Collection of fluid in the stomach and lungs (which interferes with bodily processes, including breathing)
Loss of kidney and liver function
Blood clots (which may lead to stroke)
Frequent monitoring of your ovaries and follicular (egg) development using ultrasound
Frequent testing of your blood estrogen levels

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