Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome Prevention and Management

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If you’re going through IVF you’ve likely heard about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and are maybe a little bit scared about OHSS. In this article I’ll explain OHSS and talk about some key ways to manage it if you in the minority of individuals that develop it.

For many women going through IVF part of the process involves taking injectable hormones designed to help stimulate the development of eggs in the ovaries. This process is very effective at stimulating your eggs, however there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of during this process including abdominal pain, rapid weight gain, vomiting and shortness of breath.

Most women that develop OHSS have a mild version, however for about 20 percent of women the abdominal discomfort associated with OHSS can take up to a month to resolve. In very rare cases (approximately 2%) some women experience severe symptomology and require hospitalisation.

While there are many things your medical team can do to improve your symptoms there are some dietary management strategies that can also assist you. Use the table below as a guide to find out how you can manage OHSS depending on your symptoms. Please note that it is really important to seek help from your medical team and dietitian to ensure you get the balance of fluid intake/output right.

Symptom Management
Nausea and Bloating
  • Aim to have small regular carbohydrate-rich meals.
  • Ensure you’re consuming adequate fluid
  • Avoid greasy high fat meals
  • Get some fresh air and sunlight
Regular Vomiting (with fluid build up)
  • Adjust fluid intake (consult your dietitian to ensure you aren’t becoming dehydrated)
  • Try small regular sips of electrolytes to replace what has been lost
Fluid build up (without losses through vomiting)
  • Decrease your fluid intake and consider a low salt diet (contact your dietitian to ensure you get the balance right here).

If you’d like more information about how nutrition can impact your conception journey contact me today for a free 15 minute discovery call. Just click on the link below to get in touch.


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