Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What is OHSS?

Over the past few day, many people have asked me questions about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, or OHSS for short. I guess I should have explained this better before now. I know that many of you ladies in the fertilty community know what I'm talking about, but my friends in real life have been "in the dark."

 OHSS affects 10% of women undergoing fertility treatments. Some of the risk factors are being under 35, having a high estrogen level at the time of retrieval, and having PCOS. I don't have PCOS, but I hit the other two markers. I'm going to try and explain this as easily as possible. Please stay with me (the nurses woke me up once an hour last night and I can no longer sleep).

 After the eggs are retrieved, the follicles (that once contained the eggs) fill back up with fluid. With OHSS, the fluid then leaks out of the follicles into the belly. Some of the milder symptoms are abdominal bloating, mild pain in the abdomen, and slight weight gain. I only had these symptoms for the first few days after retrieval. Some of the more severe symptoms are decreased urination, shortness of breath, and intense pain and swelling in the abdomen. I was doing everything I could think of to stay one step ahead of OHSS. We kept my feet propped, I drank plenty of water and Gatorade, and I tried to increase my protein intake. Dr. Allemand said OHSS was bound to happen due to the high number of eggs aspirated combined with my high estrogen level. I have been in pain ever since my egg retrieval. Part of me thought I was just a pansy. The other part thought all that I was feeling was normal. The pain seemed to get worse at night. I was having trouble getting up by myself, and found myself out of breath just walking across the house. The car ride to the clinic yesterday was awful. I thought I was going to be sick the entire ride. I was jittery waiting on my name to be called in the waiting room. After getting changed into my hospital gown, Brandi (best nurse ever) gave me a Valium to calm my nerves because we still thought the transfer was happening at that point. It was apparent to her how much pain I was in. I don't know how I made it as long as I did.

 Once I got in my hospital room, they gave me two Lortabs. I felt much better once they began taking effect. I'm taking two now every four hours. They have me hooked up to an IV with fluids because I've been so dehydrated. They have to monitor my urine and weight each day now. They are also giving me phenergan to combat the nausea. I actually got some sleep last night, but they come in to check on me almost once an hour so I'm still groggy.

Brandon has been great through all of this. He is always calm in these types of situations. He's hurt and upset too that we weren't able to do the transfer, but agrees that we need me healthy first. Dad and Peggy came with us yesterday for the transfer, so they were able to go back to the house and pack us a little bag with a few things to keep us comfortable. We hadn't even been in the room five minutes, when our pastor, Terry, showed up. He sat with us for a short time and prayed with us before he left. My Mom drove from Tuscalosa and stayed for a while. Joy came by too and brought a large bag of snacks! There's also a lot of people who said they are stopping by today. Brandon and I have felt all of your prayers and love.

I will update later once my catheter is placed in my belly. I'm scared (y'all know about my fear of needles). I don't know how long we'll be here in the hospital. I apologise for the length of this post and any gramatical errors. They just gave me another sose of medicine. =)


  1. Sorry you're going through this. It happened to me twice. I hate OHSS. Get well soon!

  2. Hope you're feeling better soon. Thanks for keeping all of us updated!!

  3. I hope you start to feel better soon! When are they thinking they will transfer?

    1. We will have to do a FET at a later date.

  4. enjoy these meds while you can ;)

  5. So sorry that you have to put off the transfer, but your health needs to come first! I'll keep praying.


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As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:14