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Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
by Bronwyn

Why would you be dealing with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)?

Because you have undergone controlled ovarian hyperstimulation – either for IVF or IUI. Every time you undergo controlled ovarian hyperstimulation there is a small degree of risk. However, your symptoms are likely to be very mild, involving only a minor degree of swelling or discomfort. OHSS usually starts a couple of days after an egg retrieval – although, like everything, this can vary and your symptoms may start earlier or later.

Factors Which Increase Your Risk

1. Lots of follicles and high estrogen levels. This is the biggest risk factor, and one of the reasons why more isn’t necessarily better. You may be “coasted” to reduce the number of follicles/estrogen levels.
2. hCG seems to trigger, prolong, and increase the severity of OHSS. If you are at very high risk, your retrieval may be cancelled because the hCG trigger injection will be deemed too dangerous. If you are at slightly lower risk, you will be asked to trigger and undergo retrieval, but your transfer will be cancelled to avoid pregnancy in that cycle and the embryos frozen for later use.
3. Low body mass index. For some reason skinny women are slightly more at risk. No-one knows why.

What You Can Expect

Symptoms: Pain or swelling of the belly. Decreased urine output and pain when urinating. Nausea and vomiting. Thirst. Shortness of breath. Sudden increases in weight.

The average case lasts seven to ten days. Unfortunately, there is no way to make the OHSS go away. Instead, you need to support your body until the hormones settle down. Most of the time, adequate monitoring and treatment can be given at home – this is discussed in more detail under “troubleshooting”. If your symptoms become too severe for at-home treatment, you will be admitted to the hospital. Although the principles of supportive care and monitoring remain the same, both will be more aggressive for in-hospital patients.

Treating OHSS

1. Keep up the fluids. You will be losing fluids into your abdominal cavity. If you can’t keep up with this loss by drinking fluids, you will be put on an IV drip.
2. Keep up the proteins. You will also be losing proteins into your abdominal cavity. If eating protein-rich foods and drinking protein shakes isn’t enough, you can be given albumin via a drip. 3. Control pain. The type of painkiller you need will depend on your level of pain.
4. Control nausea. Anti-nausea medications may be used.
5. Control shortness of breath. Mild shortness of breath can be treated with rest. In more severe cases, intranasal oxygen may be used.
6. Maintain organ function and treat specific complications. If the pressure in your abdomen is too great, an in-dwelling tube can be placed under local anaesthetic to drain some of the fluid away. As the proteins in this fluid are lost to the body forever, and cannot be resorbed, this will only be done if the benefits are thought to outweigh the risks. If you are having trouble emptying your bladder due to the enormous swelling of your ovaries, you may need an in-dwelling urinary catheter placed. Other specific complications are treated as they arise.
7. Maintain circulation. You may find that fluid collects around your lower body. Flight socks can be used to prevent swelling around the calves. Heparin injections and aspirin may be prescribed to lower the risk of clotting and thromboembolism.

Monitoring OHSS

1. Daily weight checks.
2. Measurement of urine output and fluid intake.
3. Daily blood tests for in-hospital patients.
4. Monitoring vital signs for in-hospital patients (heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygenation, temperature).
5. X-rays and ultrasounds may be used for some in-hospital patients, depending on symptoms.

After OHSS

Most clinics advise taking a cycle off to allow your reproductive system to get back to normal. Opinions do vary, though – some specialists are willing to do an FET the very next cycle, and others advise a longer wait of several cycles. Most patients find their next cycle is longer than usual. It’s common to be anything from two to four weeks late in the cycle following OHSS. The cycle after that may also be prolonged.

Ways to Troubleshoot

You should report any and all symptoms to your specialist. This is important! Simple treatment for mild cases: 1. Drink plenty of fluids. Electrolye drinks (sports drinks) and protein shakes (eg sustagen) are especially good. This is because your body is losing fluid, electrolytes and proteins into your abdominal cavity. High-protein foods, such as chicken, are also recommended. 2. Take pain killers. Doctors usually prescribe paracetamol/acetominophen plus or minus codeine for mild pain. If these don’t work, consult your specialist. 3. Rest up. I promise this will make you feel better. 4. Monitor your symptoms. Check your weight on the bathroom scales each morning. Report any sudden increases in weight. Measure your waistline. If you are putting on inches each day, talk to your clinic. Take note of your urine volume. If it’s decreasing, or if you find you are going to the toilet very frequently without passing much each time, contact your clinic. If any other symptoms arise – nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath etc – contact your clinic.

Personal Tips

1. Don’t be afraid to talk to your clinic about your symptoms. If your symptoms are changing and progressing – talk to them again. Better safe than sorry.
2. OHSS is tough mentally and emotionally. There are an awful lot of hormones involved, and you are genuinely sick, which is frightening. The fact no-one can tell you how long it will last is frustrating – will it be a few days or will you be that rare patient whose symptoms go on for over a month? Supportive treatments, especially IV albumin, can make you feel better temporarily and lead you to think it’s all over – until they wear off. This is very different from illnessess or injuries you may have had in the past, where each day you can feel yourself getting a little bit better. With OHSS, you may be getting worse each day, or feeling up and then down again, with no clear ending in sight. Please remember almost everyone gets better in seven to ten days. During my ten days in the hospital, a couple of things were said to me which I clung to. A nurse said, “You will get through this – hour by hour, day by day, moment by moment.” And another said, “You’ll never stop putting yourself through these things for your kids.”


1 Anonymous { 11.11.06 at 9:33 am }

thanks – I’ve had OHSS too and just as you’ve described. I too was put in hospital, the morning I expected to be having my embryos transplanted, and was there for 3 days. I was so caught up in this unexpected illness that the huge disappointment of having to abandon the long awaited cycle hit very hard. so you’re left coping with two problems at once. Take your time to recover – I needed a week longer to get over the worst of it than I thought, so just accept your body needs time to get better and also to get over the onslaught of drugs that have been pumped into into for weeks.

2 Anonymous { 11.12.06 at 6:14 pm }

I’m a little behind on this post..
Wanted to add that I had my first IVF cycle cancelled due to OHSS 1 day before retrieval.
I have gained approx. 12 pounds and have lost very little “volume” although the heavy feeling has subsided.
I stopped the meds. five weeks ago.
Doing some research I see that PCOS patients tend to have a higher rate of OHSS. PCOS is apparently under-diagnosed as a possible cause for infertility.
Worth checking out.

3 Anonymous { 11.29.06 at 9:24 am }

Thanks for your post. I had severe OHSS too, and I could not get much information about it. I gained a total of 35 pounds (even with one draining) and I was swollen up like a float in the Macy’s Parade for 14 days! I amazed my doctors – apparantly it is usually a younger woman’s complication, and I am 43. You’d think they would have suspected when I stimulated so well, and they retrieved 30 eggs. The only ‘blessing’ about OHSS was that I felt so awful I couldn’t get depressed about not being able to do the transfer. I had back surgery a few years ago and OHSS made it look like a walk in the park! They don’t tell you that the bloating will stretch your muscles so tight that you will not be able to sit up/move without screaming, or that the pressure on your heart and lungs will force you to sleep upright for the duration, or that the swelling in your crotch and legs will pull your skin so taught that it will hurt to even stand up. I was so swollen that I had to have my husband put HIS shoes on me – I couldn’t even reach my knees. My heart rate went from 50 right after the egg retrieval, to 150 four days later. I had my next menstual cycle at the normal time, but it was much heavier & longer. I’m now waiting for my next cycle (and hoping it is on schedule) so that we can proceed with FET. I worry that since they said that a pregnancy when I had OHSS would intensify it, that I might get it again when I get pregnant. I haven’t seen any information about the likihood of getting it again without the stimulating drugs.
Keeping my fingers crossed I never have it again!

4 Anonymous { 01.28.07 at 10:28 pm }

This is all very interesting information. I am scheduled for er tomorrow morning. I started having light symptoms of ohss about 4 days ago. My doctor said that we could go ahead and give the trigger shot and schedule er and that everythinhg should be fine. I did the trigger shot last night and today I am feeling nervous, pain is beginning and I am thinking that holding off on the et and getting well might be the best thing. After reading some of the information on this, I almost feel as if my doctor has “down played” the severity of concern. He feels that if you can handle it, it is worth it??

5 Anonymous { 02.28.07 at 12:18 pm }

I had 16 eggs retrieved. I am recovering from OHSS, but my onset was about 5 days AFTER transfer. About 5 days after my symptoms started, I had a positive early pregnancy test. My doc said that increasing HCG causes the OHSS to worsen. I was hospitalized at 12 days after transfer for about 4 days. I gained at least 15 pounds of fluid and they drained me of 4.5 liters over two days (the discomfort during the draining was not too bad when I was on dilaudid, but the next day I did not have drugs and it was pretty uncomfortable). It is now 18 days since my onset and I am back at work but I am still experiencing the awful stretching of the abdominal muscles mentioned by an earlier poster. (so glad you mentioned this – I am relieve to hear someone else had this too). Every step I take continues to be painful to my belly and I am very uncomfortable standing up straight. Hoping to feel better soon. Still pregnant – hoping it lasts . . .

6 Anonymous { 02.28.07 at 12:20 pm }

My doc said it is unlikely that a person would get OHSS twice

7 Anonymous { 05.14.07 at 12:06 am }

Wow, its nice to know ppl have gone through this before, it helps deal with it. I am an extremely abnormal case. I am 28, and had 20 eggs retreived. 4 of the embryos made it to blastocyst stage, so we have 12 frozen. I was rushed to the hosp, and stayed there for 8 days, gained 55 (yes 55!) pounds of fluid, and almost died from my blood being so thick. I did have a tap done, and they took out 3 Liters of fluid, only to find out it all came back when I woke the next morning. It was interesting to say the least. Very worth it though, I am 10 weeks pregnant, and starting to feel better, although I am sure I have at least 20 pounds of fluid left in me. The doctors say that should go away as the baby gets bigger. I look about 6 months pregnant right now! All this after waiting 6 years to have kids. Oh well, I’m not complaining!

8 Emery of The World { 06.12.07 at 7:45 pm }

Thank you all for your comments. I had my aspiration yesterday. They retrieved 52 eggs!! 40 of them were good. The doctor said I am at severe risk for OHSS. I am supposed to stay active and drink until I cannot tolerate it any more. If this is only day 2, then I guess I should expect it to get worse!!

9 Anonymous { 06.29.07 at 5:30 pm }

I’m an egg donor who went through severe OHSS… I’m 24 and they retrieved 38 eggs. OHSS was soooo miserable! I’ve never had such a scary thing happen to my body…However, I’m donating again! I just love the idea that I’m helping making dreams come true for people who truly want children. It’s so worth it! Just want you all to know that we go through a lot to help you out and I wouldn’t take back anything. Please treat your children well for us donors because I almost died for them to live! God bless!

10 Anonymous { 07.07.07 at 9:22 pm }

Thanks for the forum everyone. At age 40 I just had 40 eggs retrieved (one for each year I guess) and had FET cancelled (devistated me). Now it is nine days post retrieval and the first day I have felt human again. But when does the bloating go away? I literally can not fit into a thing.

11 Anonymous { 07.16.07 at 12:48 am }

I got OHSS from just a small dose of clomid (No IVF, injectible meds, or anything else). It was quite scary. I was driving in my car feeling nauseous and started feeling light headed and like I was going to pass out. I quickly drove home. As soon as I got out of the car, I started vomitting. I barely made it to the front door of my house. My husband saw me and got really scared. He helped me to bed and called the doctor.

Later I found out I was pregnant. Pregnancy makes OHSS worse and it can take a bit longer for this to go away. The OHSS went away when I miscarried.

Just wanted to let people know that you do not have to be on injectibles and doing IVF to get OHSS.

12 Anonymous { 07.20.07 at 1:25 pm }

thank you for sharing your experiences. i have OHSS and this is my 23rd day of misery. the blessing is that the vomiting stopped and pain has lessened a bit but i am still carrying 11 lbs of water/fluid in my abdomen and feel as though i am going to pop!

i am also looking for any sign of improvement. the most frustrating thing about this is that no one seems to know anything about how to support it and when it will get better. i can’t tell if i’m getting better because my weight and girth has remained the same for the last 3 weeks with no change whatsoever.

any thoughts would be helpful.

13 Anonymous { 07.23.07 at 4:04 pm }

unbelievable – the ohss symptoms. I have hidden the fact that i have been going thru ivf/icsi from friends and family. then trying to hide the ohss! uugghhh! just had to hide the swollen belly/pain with a loose shirt. torture! took a month to be able to bend over to tie shoes. after 5 transfers of three embryos each still not sure why exactly it doesnt implant or develop – oh, what a sad affair – wish it were black and white. keep trying tho! hang in there to all – at least you can say you have tried all…

14 Uccellina { 07.24.07 at 4:01 pm }

I feel like such an idiot – it didn’t even occur to me that this incredible bloating and discomfort could be OHSS, because it started six days after my blastocyst transfer. I mentioned it offhandedly to the clinic and they said, “Oh, sounds like you’re hyperstimulating,” and then they put me on fluids. Thank you for the great information!

15 Anonymous { 08.11.07 at 2:49 pm }

I am currently hospitalized with severe ohss. Started experiencing mild symptoms two days after a blastocyst transfer. Was bloated but not in pain for three days, then fine for a day and a half…then WHAM, very bloated and in pain. After spending tuesday afternoon in my RE’s office getting fluids, Wed morning in the ER and Thurs morning in the ER, I was admitted. My doc expects me to be here for at least 3 weeks. They drained me yesterday…got 5 liters in 6 hours. This morning my stomach is still round and very firm…but without that painful stretching of the skin. They have me on an albumin drip and a dopamine drip, plus I’m catheterized so they can closely monitor my input/output.

The good news is that I’m pregnant…although I’m worried because my third hcg test just came back and the level barely went up. 4 days ago it was 57, 2 days ago it was 104…but today it was only 134. The doctor told me not to worry about it just yet…that draining so much fluid can disturb hormone levels, they’ll be testing again tomorrow. I’m just so nervous now, my road to pregnancy has been long and difficult.

16 Anonymous { 09.20.07 at 9:38 pm }

My transfer was just cancelled due to ohss. I had 34 eggs retrived, this is my first IVF/ICSI. I felt horrible immediately after ER but RE said my discomfort was due to so many eggs being drained at once and he just upped my pain meds. I never did feel much better and knew deep down that something was wrong but I just wanted it so badly. Well the day of transfer (day 5) I could hardly walk but it hurt to sit and when they had me start drinking tons of water to fill my bladder, my stomach couldn’t take it. Started cramping badly, I started crying, drawing attention to myself and then doc and nurses asked enough questions to decide to freeze for now. He said great news 10 great blasts to freeze and 7 still growing but that did not sound great to me. I am devasted and while I should be greatful to have beautiful blasts, I thought I was taking two home with me and the disappointment is still overwhelming. It’s the next day, I upped my pain meds which is helping but still feel like crap. I can’t turn on either side or laugh without extreme pain. RE said after I get AF we will talk but will take a month off so I don’t get sick. I just can’t stop thinking, if I hadn’t started crying and the transfer went on if I would be with child now, even though in pain instead of in pain and childless for sure.

17 Astra { 09.21.07 at 8:22 pm }

I had mild OHSS but I developed pleurisy, resulting in a pleural effusion that didn’t resolve for three months, due to the side effects of the medications. I was hospitalized for two days to resolve the pain from the pleural effusion.

18 Anonymous { 01.10.08 at 2:54 pm }

Hi everyone, I have mild OHSS (huge swelling in abdomen and difficulty in breathing) and had my embryos transferred 7 days ago. My severe pain and bloating has today started to reduce slightly….does this mean I am not likely to be pregnant?

19 myorganicpregnancy { 03.08.08 at 7:49 pm }

I really appreciated this post and comment string. I’m 28 and just did my first IVF cycle; 45 eggs were retrieved last Monday. My transfer was cancelled but that’s ok with me. I want to get better! I’ve been so frustrated that six days later, I don’t feel that much better. Despite almost total bed rest all week and drinking liters of gatorade, I’m still very bloated, have gained 10 pounds, am constipated, my back hurts, my ab muscles ache from coughing, vomitting, laughing, sitting up in bed, etc., I get short of breath doing the smallest things, and so on. It’s miserable! But apparently it could be much much worse, so I’m trying to be grateful despite the discomfort. I worry so much that what I’m experiencing isn’t normal and that I’m doing something wrong and that it’s going to get worse… but it’s comforting to know that this is normal and that I will get through it, even if it takes a couple more weeks. Hang in there everyone!

20 Anonymous { 05.12.08 at 10:54 am }

Hi Guys
Sooo nice to find such a supportive website.
I am on my 2nd round of ivf
1st one I started to hyperstimulate so they coasted me, did the retrieval and we were left with nothing!
This time around I have 25 eggs on day 8 and they are already talking about freezing and not transferring which I agree is totally devastating but I have looked after some mega sick people with OHSS and despite my 7 year wait to conceive have no desire to go down that route

21 Anonymous { 05.30.08 at 6:23 am }

Hey guys, my dr just confirmed my mild OHSS. my PT is -ve after 5 days of 10k IU pegnyl. My ovary is slightly stimulated but its still under 5mm. My dr also told me that I should rest for the weekend and come bck for another scan nxt wk. I tried to find put if I can still be pregnant during this cycle? Please help.

22 Anonymous { 05.30.08 at 10:28 am }

would be delighted to try and answer your queation but need more detail about what you are doing. iui,ivf etc

23 Anonymous { 05.30.08 at 9:09 pm }

dear anonymous,

im on assisted ovulation program, have received 150iu of Gonal F for 9 straight days, with 10k iu of pregnyl triggered on day 13, biggest follicle size is abt 16mm. Bloated n lower abdominal pain started on day 17 til now. Many thanks.

24 Anonymous { 06.01.08 at 9:34 am }

the truth is not a 100% sure but I would keep the chin up and keep going and DO NOT do another PT unless they tell you or you will totally wreck your brain! I have just been through ivf and will know on wed if it worked! up the walls as you can imagine. We had a rough ride during the ivf with so many ups and downs,overstim,reduced dose,blood levels too low I could write a book! The moral of the story is you are doing a great job so keep your chin up and move forward!Let us know how it goes

25 Anonymous { 06.17.08 at 8:26 am }

hey all… im the anonymous with mild ohss and was anxious whether I stood a chance or not, well… I had AF almost immediately after the pain subsides. Right now I’m taking a break from it all… I’m only on my 2nd IO and its already driven me up to walls. i salute those who can still hang in there. I’m curently on a break and I wish all of you my best.

26 Anonymous { 08.02.08 at 11:29 pm }

Hi there,
I had 26 eggs collected and in retrospect started suffering symproms the of OHSS the day after. On day two I had one transfered (even though the embryologist was pushing me not to! – the Dr was pushing us to). Two days later I was week, felt like I couldn’t stand up had put on about 10 pounds and found I was struggling to breathe.
After sitting in the clinic waiting room in pain and hysterical they did an untrasound and hospitalised me. I ended up putting on over 25 pounds and struggled with my enourmous belly, back pain and shortness of breath. The nurses in the hospital told me that they had never seen such an extreme case that didn’t result in a pregnancy. Which was so cruel at the end of the day when I got a negative pregnancy test.
My doctor blamed me for making him prescribe me such a high dose of the drugs!
He now tells me that I was lucky I only had mild OHSS – even though I was hospitalised for 6 days and was advised to take a month off work!
This whole process is very hard when all you can see in the doctors eyes are dollar signs!
I sound bitter don’t I? I’m not really just disappointed. I write this now so someone may learn from my experience.

27 Anonymous { 11.22.08 at 2:01 pm }

thank goodness for this string..I am suffering with OHSS a week on from the doctors retrieving 50 eggs. I felt so bad that couldn’t bear to have the ET when they said there was a risk a pregnancy would make me feel worse. I wasn’t hospitalised but couldn’t move, or eat, or breathe properly (because my abdomen was so full of fluid) for four days. Although the pain has gone and I can finally walk and sleep almost normally, I have so much excess fluid around my abdomen i feel like a balloon filled with water….it’s very strange – and I was getting quite worried until I found this link…so thanks guys! On a positive note – producing so many eggs means we have 7 good quality blastocysts which have been frozen to be used when my body has calmed down, so I’m looking forward to the next stage of our journey, and hoping it’s slightly less painful than the first part!

28 Anonymous { 12.03.08 at 6:28 pm }

I am glad to find this, I don’t feel so alone now! I developed OHSS the day after my egg retrieval (16 eggs). I was very bloated and sore the next 5 days before my transfer. We transferred 2 blasts 5 days later and my ovaries were the size of grapefruits. About 3 days after the transfer, my swelling went down a little. I looked about 5 to 6 months pregnant. Very uncomfortable. Then it got worse a couple days after that (I found out I am pregnant) Yay! Today they drained 3 liters of fluid off me. I am on anticoagulant meds because my blood is at risk for clotting. I feel better but ab muscles are still very sore from being stretched. Looking forward to sleeping better tonight.

29 Anonymous { 12.12.08 at 2:41 pm }

Hi there,
For all those with severe OHSS, my sister has been at the hospital for 1 month and 1 week. I talked to her 1 hour ago and I came back to the internet to start research about OHSS… once again. She is starting to feel sick again. She does not have access to internet at the hospital and is so desperate to learn more information about this syndrome and when it’s going to end. So I look for information like this and send it to her, so that way she can see that she is not alone in world going through this nightmare. At this point psychological support is her only comfort. She is frustrated and exhausted. She has probably lost 17pounds during this whole ordeal. She was apparently getting better after her last draining (1 week ago). She had 6 parecentesis!! (drains) and always felt much better after this procedures. But now she seems to be going through a little depression again. I feel so bad for her…
The good news is that she is pregnant, 6 weeks, and apparently that is going great.
She just feels like a handicaped person and that she will never be able to leave the hospital. Thank God she lives in Germany and that she is taking good advantage of the public health services…
Anyways, the doctors say “hung in there” but this is so devastating emotionally, she is so scared all the time and has been through so much physical discomfort.
I can only keep praying in silence that she gets better soon, hopefully before X-mas.

30 brown_girl_in_the_ring { 12.18.08 at 10:45 am }

I had ohss. Words cannot describe my symptoms. got pregnant. told later i was having twins. 9wks scan no foetus in womb. worried sick as they think i hv ectopic. hcg wont go down. i want to know how long it took for ohss swollen ovaries to go down. mine still hurt after 6weeks and are very swollen.

Life oh Life!

31 Anonymous { 02.18.09 at 5:26 pm }

I just went through OHSS and it was one of the scariest and stressful times of my life. Severe bloating, 6lbs of weight gain, difficulty walking and lying down. I opted to freeze my 5 blastocysts instead of taking the risk of making my symptoms much worse by doing a transfer and getting pregnant. My doctor told me the symptoms always get much worse for longer periods when pregnant. Yet he still wanted to do the transfer. Such tough choices during emotionally challenging times. I am feeling so much better now, both physically and emotionally (its been 3 weeks since my OHSS). I feel it was the best decision to recover and be ready for a future transfer. Good luck to all you women going through this process. Don’t be afraid to freeze your embryos, your health is too important. Remember, listen to your body and your intuition. The doctors are very interested in making their numbers look good.

32 Anonymous { 03.05.09 at 9:17 am }

Hi there,

I am 17 weeks pregnant with twins. I had severe OHSS. I have been drained 8 times, hospitalized, and have been fed through an IV Albumin, to increase my protein levels.

Fluid still builds up at this stage, but at a much slower rate. I am still big for 17 weeks. What are the signs og OHSS subsiding, and does it usually take this long?

Thank you.

33 Anonymous { 03.12.09 at 6:15 am }


I have moderate OHSS which I started developing 5 days after the egg retrieval. My Dr. decided to proceed witht the IVF. I am now 5 weeks pregnant but worried about miscarriage since he said the chances of that increase with OHSS.
While I am thrilled about the pregnancy, my huge belly is a constant reminder of my OHSS.
How many weeks after a pregnancy do the symptoms subside?

34 Anonymous { 04.12.09 at 8:37 pm }

Hi Guys,

This is so crazy isn’t it? I am currently working through a moderate case of OHSS. 4 IVFs later, I am sad to say that it’s the 2nd time I got hyperstimulated. Last time I was drained 3 times and had trouble breathing from the fluid pressing against my adrenal glands. It was absolutely horrible. I did have a positive beta but it began to decrease on the 3rd beta so it was a no go ultimately. Having had that experience, I thought that I (and my RE) would be more careful about it. Well, then we had a successful IVF following the OHSS. Then now even after watching carefully and monitoring E2 levels I still hyperstimmed and it is much worse this time. I had to be hospitalized and in 1 week was drained 7 times and hooked up to IV. The veins in my arms are so shot from all the blood drawls and IV’s. I am a small person so everything is smashed together with the bloating. The nausea, heartburn, pain, fear, frustration can’t be put into words properly. I do have a positive beta again but seeing what happened last time makes me very, wary. In any case, it’s nice to have support over the net. Know that this too, shall pass. Good luck to everyone!

35 Anonymous { 04.21.09 at 5:27 pm }

have a question for you fellow ohss’ers. I had a severe case of OHSS in October 07. I was hospitalized for a total of 2 weeks and had my lungs drained 8 times over a month and my stomach twice. I was lucky to get a positive pregnancy test and had a beautiful set of twins in May of 08. Since then I have noticed my lungs haven’t been the same. I have such trouble breathing and chest pains. Has this happened to anyone else?

36 Francis { 05.09.09 at 12:39 pm }

Hi, I suspect that I have OHSS. Mildly so, but almost sure. I’ve been treated with Gonal F – low dosage though – but I am polycystic, and when Dr found about 13 follicles, he triggered at day 8 already. I am very uncomfortable, nauseaus and bloated. I am sure that I will be much better soon, haven’t spoken to my gynae, but I’m going overseas in 7 days and am worried that he’ll tell me cancel the trip. It’s been 5 days since the pregnyl was given – will it get worse?

37 anonymous { 05.20.10 at 2:22 pm }

I had a u/s 6dpiui (and menopur inject. cycle). My doctor said I had mild to moderate OHSS. I couldn’t walk straight cause so uncomfortable. The next day, all my symptoms pretty much vanished. I’m now 8dpiui and still feeling better. I’m worried that this means I’m not pregnant. Anyone recover from OHSS during 2ww and still get a bfp?

38 anon { 08.27.10 at 3:07 pm }

All of these comments have been very helpful. I am currently 4 days past the egg retrieval and suffering from mild OHSS. My e2 levels were over 9000 and thus the doctor recommended that we freeze-all (currently waiting to see how many make it to blastocyst for freezing). It was horribly disappointing to delay the embryo transfer, but I’m starting to feel worse today and I can only imagine how bad it would feel if I got pregnant. I’ve gained 9 inches in my waist, feeling nauseous, and my whole abdomen feels bruised and swollen. Not fun. I know many people have it much, much worse, but I’m really hoping things improve soon.

39 Jan { 09.14.10 at 9:43 am }

OHSS has been one of the most frustrating experiences I have ever had! I consider myself a healthy, active person and this has really caught me off guard. I had my ER in late August and my transfer early in Sept. I developed OHSS symptoms between ER and ET but was never told that canceling was an option, nor were the risks of this ever really explained. I have been told that I have moderate OHSS and simply can’t imagine a SEVERE case. I have been out of work for a week due to severe bloating, abdominal and chest pain and shortness of breath and inability to sleep. Gatorade seems to help but after so many days, it’s nauseating. The pain has improved but the bloating and chest/ muscle pain I have read about are still going strong. It’s been 2 weeks or so. Although I did get a positive beta, I am frustrated with this “surprising” aspect of IVF. If you are considering IVF, please talk with your RE about the possibility of OHSS and see what can be done to avoid it.

40 Anonymous { 01.28.11 at 11:12 am }

Ohss is the worst thing ever!!!
I am 7 days past EC and came down with OHSS straight after my collection, I had 25 eggs collected and ended up with 12 beautiful embryos but was unable to transfer as i was so ill so was advised to freeze them and now awiting FET treatment although my vomiting has stopped and i have started to feel better i am concerned that i am still a bit breathless now and again…..is this normal? and how long before i am feeling completely better?
OHSS is so scary……never want to go through this again!!!!

41 BIG OLD HARD UGLY BELLY { 05.12.11 at 10:31 pm }

i donated 44 eggs, that have already turned into 8 celled and were frozen for my receipient who was not responding as quickly as I did. In the end, I got moderately severe OHSS the very next day after retreival and have been tapped twice, 1600 ml each time! I only weighted 112 and am 5’1, and now i weight 122 lbs with a huge belly. TOday was the first day I didn’t vomit or OD on antinausea meds and ate real food after 8 days of horrible pain. Its so embarrassing! I have a 7 mo pregnant looking belly that I cannot hide from anyone. How long can i expect this to last for? How long will by belly carry these 10 lbs for?!?!

42 When life gives you Lemons! { 08.18.11 at 7:27 am }

I got OHSS as well when I was in the UK doing IVF. I was so sad when I was told that I could not do the embryo transfer. I didn’t even realise that I had OHSS symptoms; I have never done IVF before I just assumed that it was normal to have a big tummy and some cramps. I have always suffered from nausea so I just assumed that i had nausea because of all of the travelling that we did. Since I am doing a non disclosure form of PGD I don’t know how many frozen embryos I have at the moment…. I will only be told after they are thawed and biopsied. Now I am waiting for period number two so I can do a FET. I don’t know if I want to transfer one or two blastocysts, I worry about how I would cope with being pregnant with twins?

As for my OHSS I felt like crap for ten days as well, but I recovered travelled from England to Luxembourg to recover at a friend’s house.

43 Anonymous { 12.09.11 at 6:03 pm }

I am an egg donor and am recovering from severe OHSS. I had my retrieval last week and 47 eggs were retrieved. I didn’t start to feel really bad until three days after the retrieval and on the fourth day, I was hospitalized because my labs showed that my blood was too concentrated which can be very dangerous. Although I was in severe pain, the worst symptoms for me were the nausea/vomiting/cramps that I would get upon eating. I can handle a lot of pain but I cannot handle not being able to eat! It is now nine days since my retrieval and I’m starting to feel like a human again, but a chest x-ray that I had this morning showed that I have fluid surrounding my lungs which makes it quite difficult to breathe. My advice to any donors out there: think hard about whether or not helping someone is worth compromising your own health. And if so, make sure you can take about two weeks off of work after your retrieval in the unlikely, but very possible, event that you come down with severe OHSS!

44 michelle { 01.03.12 at 4:32 am }

Its very hard to find any support groups for OHSS, so thankyou so much for this site!

Ohss has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with! The pregnancy keeps me going ;-). I am 9 weeks and have had ohss since egg collection. What I have found is that ohss likes to play tricks- symptoms become quite bad and then subside making you think it is going. The worst occassion being hospitalised for a week with severe pain and swelling.

Don’t be scared to tell your clinic about any symptoms. Keep plugging on! We are all very strong ladies x

45 Soky { 03.09.12 at 9:23 am }

This is the worst physical trauma I have had to endure. OHSS symptoms started about 6 days following my 3DT. Diagnosed with moderate OHSS, beta hcg of 201 after 9 days post ET. I am off sick, in pain, very bloated and too scared to eat or drink. For a normally very active person, these are the worse days of my life, especially with hot knowing when the symptoms would subside.!! What we pass through to be mothers. Every woman that has passed through IVF should be given a medal and those of us that suffer OHSS be made the president of a nation..

46 Anonymous { 05.17.12 at 2:49 pm }

I am 24 yrs old, and I am doing IVF and my estrogen levels got really high. They retrieved 19 eggs and I was fine for two days. All of a sudden I started experiencing pain and nausea. I ended up in hospital for 3 days. OHSS is the worst thing ever. I would not transfer if you have this. It will make your symptoms so much worse. Right now I am planning to do transfer next month but still scared too. I am on day 6 and feel a littke better but I am still bloated, can’t really eat, and I feel weak. I REALLY cannot wait for this to be over. My doctor told me to not eat anything over 10 carbs and to drink lots of water. I am also drinking propel for electrolites. Sleep up right with legs elevated and try and walk a little a few times a day. Good luck ladies. I know I cannot wait for this to be over with!

47 Anonymous { 07.02.12 at 4:22 pm }

Everyone should know that this can occur in women NOT doing IVF. I have never done IVF or taken any kind of ferility drug and developed a severe case of OHSS at 9 weeks gestation. Four weeks later I am still suffering with it. So, this idea that it goes away in 7-10 days is misleading and very discouraging for those of us looking for advice and support.

48 Spontaneous { 07.09.12 at 4:21 pm }

I have Severe Spontaneous OHSS which is exceptionally rare, I was preparing FET had my Depot Lupron shot and started Climara I was suffering from extreme Migraines and Nausea I called the clinic and they said take 2 Advils every 4 hour felt very sick until my first echo on June 28 2012 to monitor uterus lining when doctor jumped and called all the others in the Clinic this is in OVO Montreal Canada there was 38 follicles, my Prolactin level was sky rocketed high they did not understand how this was happening long story short I am still suffering they put me on 15 days of Destonex and 5 shots of Citrotide they wanted to make sure I don not ovulate all those follicles my egg retrieval was 9 March 2012 this, TEC protocol started June 18th 2012 this is very painful both physically and psychologically Thank God to my very supportive Husband all I want is to get well soon.

49 klett { 07.11.12 at 4:02 am }

I am on my 2ww. I have a week to go. *sigh* This is my 2nd time doing IVF. I had an ICSI 5 years ago and first time around was blessed with a healthy boy. I got moderate OHSS that time and my belly was pretty huge up until about a week after my postive pregnancy test. Now, 5 years later, we are doing IVF again and I got I guess what you would call a mild case of OHSS which started already before egg retrieval. They took out 19 eggs and transferred (unfortunately) only 1 blast 5 days later. That was 10 days ago. My stomach is almost back to normal and I have been feeling fine for about 5 days or so now. Does anyone know if this means that I am probably not pregnant? I feel sad that with my son, I had the big belly so long, since they say because of HCG levels when you are pregnant, the OHSS takes longer to go away and that this time around, the OHSS seems to have already subsided for the most part. Anyone have any thoughts?

50 KPL { 08.03.12 at 3:17 pm }

Thank you for this post. It makes me feel like I’m not alone. This is our first cycle ever with fertility meds, and I developed OHSS. I took 100mg Clomid d3-8, had 5 mature follicles, triggered with Ovidrel d16 and developed OHSS. I wanted to write to let people know that we were using only timed intercourse this cycle – no IVF, no IUI- and I still got sick. Wishing you all a speedy recovery.

51 KN { 08.06.12 at 12:34 pm }

Like other women on here, it is nice to know that I’m not alone in this. I am recovering from a moderate case of OHSS. My retrieval was on the 28th, and I was hospitalized on the 31st with severe labor-like pain in my groin, back, and shooting down my legs. I also was having trouble breathing normally. I had a CT and ultrasound done at the hospital and had fluid pressing on my liver, kidneys, spleen, and right lung. Apparently, I was at high risk for developing OHSS (young, thin, poly-cystic, high estrogen during stim). I donated eggs to a friend. I was stimmed with Bravelle and Menopur, on Lupron the whole time, trigger with HCG. I am disappointed my doctor didn’t choose a more conservative stimulation plan based on my high risk for OHSS. We will be discussing this, so maybe he can keep this from happening to other people. I guess I’m glad it’s just a moderate case and not severe. It has been horrible. My thoughts are with all of you! Hang in there!

52 MNO { 08.22.12 at 2:39 pm }

Thanks to all for sharing your experiences. I’m 2dp5dt and feel like a big ovary balloon ready to float away. My OHSS started the week before retrieval, but is much worse since HCG shot and transfer. They retrieved 17 eggs but only 6 fertilized (poor egg quality due to PCOS–i’m also 31 and used to be thin before all these meds), only 1 made it to blast but we transferred 2 (the other was almost there). Other 4 didnt even make it to freeze and I’m so down, worried that my egg quality is too low for anything to work. I’m on bed rest, drinking too much gatorade and the dr also said to eat foods high in sodium–did anyone else get that advice? Klett, how did it go for you??

53 Lw { 08.25.12 at 6:03 pm }

I felt bloating after et, my doc told me that it was normal and I just need to drink a lot and eat protein. The bloating got better after a couple of days. I had a 5 day transfer and 4 days after that I became bloated again! I felt like I ate a cow! I also had pain in my chest when I took a deep breath. This time I decided to go get it checked. Ultra sound showed that my ovaries were 8.5cm and I had water in my abdominal and chest. Even though I didn’t have any headaches or nausea and my blood test came back ok, I was still diagnosed with moderate to severe OHSS. Ive been drinking a ton of Gatorade and the bloating got better after a day or two. I still have chest pain and am definitely puffy. I just can’t believe I’m capable of gaining 10 lbs in 2 weeks!!! The pants I bought before trigger shot no longer fit. :( since i only told a couple of friends about ivf, not sure how I am supposed to get through the next few weeks explaining my sudden weight gain…. I really hope for a good result this cycle because this may just be my first and last IVF!

54 ballena { 09.07.12 at 10:59 pm }

I’m a giant whale right now. Just talked to my RE and he said it’s really up to me but to keep drinking gatorade. I am ready to go into the ER and hope that they will drain off the fluid. I can’t eat and can barely move with how bloated I am– I look 8 months pregnant. :( It’s miserable. None of my clothes fit me and I start a new job this week and we just moved. They did ET because the embies were not high enough quality to freeze. I saw the RE to evaluate me before and he said it was mild. I only looked like 4 months pregnant then, now I look 8 months and can’t even imagine what would happen if I were actually pregnant and this got worse. I don’t think it’s possible for my skin to stretch more and I certainly can’t eat. I am also starting to get cramps in my feet, hips and legs :( Is it just a giant hassle to go to the ER? Will it help any more than my mainlining protein shakes and gatorade. Any suggestions out there??

55 oliver78 { 12.01.12 at 7:23 pm }

I had 30 eggs retrieved on Thursday and had almost no symptoms until mid day on friday when my stomach literally grew visibly by the hour and I felt like I had gas, reflux, pressure and massive swelling leading to looking like I am 6 months pregnant. I am slender so this is SO obvious and I didn’t tell anyone I was having this procedure. Left work and went home to lie down where I promptly found this website with all of you describing exactly what I was going thru. After trying a bunch of things these are what I recommend. Gatorade en mass, acupuncture (several days in a row) and what has given me instant relief- wearing the tightest body shaper possible! My friend who had a c-section recommended it and it has been the best. I didn’t see it mentioned here and I thought it would be horribly uncomfortable but it has given me relief. I will be living in this thing if this keeps up. I know I don’t have much to complain about in comparison to you ladies but I thought I would mention this last tip for edema. Good luck to you all!

56 Janelle { 01.21.13 at 10:02 am }

I’m 31 yrs old, thin, had 32 eggs retrieved, and didn’t start feeling awful until the day prior to my day 5 embryo transfer. I was so nauseas and couldn’t get out of bed without feeling like I was going to pass out. Then to deal w my insides feeling like they were going to explode and fact I couldn’t breathe- it was by far the worst pain I experienced. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t breathe laying down so I tried to sleep sitting up. At one point I thought my husband would have to rush me to the ER because I couldn’t breathe…so scary! I refused to call my doctor because it was Saturday and was afraid they would cancel my transfer on Sunday. So I went in for my scheduled transfer and discovered I was completely full with leaking fluid from my enormous ovaries and indeed had OHSS. Dr refused to transfer two embryos because he said my life would be at risk… But we did transfer one embryo. I couldn’t postpone… So willing to suffer for a month in order to have a baby! I have found drinking plenty of fluid, resting, setting a heating pad on my stomach, and keeping my legs propped up have all made me feel better. Now I need a serious massage! My entire body aches and is all knotted up from not being able to sleep or walk normally. Find out if I’m pregnant in less than two weeks! Thx for all the posts! Glad I’m not alone!

57 Deanna { 03.27.13 at 2:10 pm }

Hi all, I will be 40 next month and 15 days ago I had 28 eggs retreived. I got OHSS within two days of retreival, but it was mild so we went ahead and implanted two 5 day embryos. 9 days post implantation and I’m still sleeping in the recliner and waddling around like I’m 9 months pregnant. I got the call that I’m pregnant yesterday, though my beta hcg was only 33. Going in tomorrow to check my levels again and do an ultrasound. I’m not sure if I can take the OHSS much longer. I’m at work because right now I have no choice, but I think I am ready to thorw in the towel and ask the doc to drain me. I am so tired.

58 Jan { 04.17.13 at 1:53 pm }

I had an iui on march 19th started to swell up with abdomen pain since then. I started getting very swollen and it got harder to walk around felt like an old lady. Days later I go with my dr and he says I’m retaining water in a 3rd space which is my abdomen he said it was OHSS it’s a very rare syndrome he has only seen twice. I got my first drain and felt a great relief 3 days later I felt the same so send me again for another drain. I am a small body structured girl and they still took out two liters each time. Two days later I started throwing up swelling up feeling extremely weak we’ll I had to go to the emergency room I was dehydrating in the emergency room they ran blood work and said I was my blood so they put on an IV and started swelling even more they had never heard about OHSS until my dr got there I was admitted to stay because my electrolytes we all out of whack. My dr told me I’ve never seen this I’m scared for your Health contacted other of his colleagues ams a specialist in a near by city which is a much bigger city than ours he gave him instructions and guided him in what to do. They started me on all kinds of medication to try mad control my blood levels. I’m pregnancy test came out positive so they had to be extra careful with what they gave me. After 4 days of being in the hospital they where able to control my levels but now the only thing is the accumilating water in my abdomen. I had 3 draings in the 4 day ps I was there. They are so painful that I was about to give up. So they got electrolytes under control so my life was no longer at risk. They released me from the hospital and dr I’d we had to just be monitoring my blood and the water I was retaining. Three days later at night I couldn’t hold the water any,ire went back to the ER thank God dr was able to just order a draining and is was all good again. I was really scared I wanted them to stop that horrible procedure so again 2 days later water again I called my dr and told him I wanted to be hospitized until this was over I was always afraid it was going to happened to me at night and ally there is nothing they can’t do for me then just give me pain medication. At the hospital I at least left more t ease and nurses were really nice ad gave me pain medication and it made entry thing go away of coarse they had to monitor how much they gave me because I was pregnant. So I another draining so I felt really good after that everything was somewhat back to normal still ,y stomach was swollen amd seemed like I was 6 month pg but that was okay as long as I wasn’t in pain. I noticed I started leaking from the last draining so they just patched it up thinking it would stop well it didn’t. Dr was afraid to leave it open he wanted to put a stitch or two because he was afraid of infection. He left it opened every time I would eat I felt fuller because of the water already accumilating so I would leak even more so that was a sign that the water was coming out through there. At this point I was glad it was coming out without having to go through thr procedure. Nurses tried putting different things to try amd make it last longer without getting all wet. One do the nurses came up with putting a babies diaper since they absorb a lot. The insition was on my right side under my ribs so I literally had a babies diaper there absorbing all the water coming out. It was drops at a time but it accumulated fast. They had to change the diaper every two-three hours. I honestly didn’t ca all I wanted was for it to come out. Dr was closely monitoring that I wouldn’t get an infection but everything seemed okay 6 days later and my skin started getting irritated from the tape they used and dr was about to release me. Nurses weren’t comfortable in sending me home with the small tile whole open it was tiny. One of the nurses suggested maybe with a bag colostomy bag or something like that they tried it for a day and I was draining it out myself it was easy. I finally got released thinking great everything will be good as long I keep on leaking wont have to come back for procedure. Well that stupid bag had like a glue that stuck it to my skin and a small whole where the leaking was coming out from well neatless to say the glue covered my insition 3 days later went to go visit dr told him I hadn’t leaked in 3 days but felt it was building up inside again. He took off bag amd yes it was sealed :/ waited one more day and couldn’t hold the fluid again had to go as an in and put patient for a draining the procedure is called paraenthesis :/ a total of 8’already! oh ,ost important and what has helped me look forward in this horrible experience dr did a sono and I have two sacs two soon to tell anythimg yet this has all happened in a spams of 4 weeks. I’m feeling better i had the last draining yesterday so felt really good. I have eating high protein diet high sodium drinking Gatorade which I can hardly tolerate anymore. I honestly don’t know how long this is going to last but it is so ugly that the only thing that is holding me up is to know that it supposedly ends once ovaries shut down and placenta kicks in. I’ve read and researched but I just want the water to stop accumilating that procedure is horrible!! I was to drink plain water or some,thing else but frankly I’m afraid of everything I put in my body now I think everything causes water to build up. Every where I read its different for everyone. I wish there was an exact date or week this goes away!! Good luck to everyone and if you have something similar please share we need more research or a way to stop this :/

59 Lindsay { 04.19.13 at 12:58 pm }

I am 35 with no medical problems going thru our first IVF cycle. Everything was going great until the day after retrieval I started having bloating, cramping and pain with movement. Because I’m pretty thin the bloating was very obvious. I tried to ignore the symptoms thinking they are normal post retrieval inflammation. They got 16 eggs and 12 were successfully fertilized. On the day of implantation I was not going to tell the doctor my symptoms in fear that they would cancel until my husband ratted me out. My case is mild but none the less my doctor recommended delaying the transfer for a month or two. I have a very physical job and I can’t afford to feel this way. He also told me that the symptoms can get worse if I get pregnant. I was disappointed and emotional, but my logical side knew it was the right thing to do. My doctor put it best – this is an elective procedure and the moto “do no harm” comes first. To anyone going thru OHSS don’t hesitate delaying the transfer… You’ve already been thru so much! My question is – how long until I feel like myself again?

60 ml { 05.18.13 at 3:03 am }

Hi all,

Very reassuring to know there are so many others going through OHSS, makes me feel less paranoid about my symptoms. Unlike most people here I was hit with OHSS a few hours after ET (I was given a shot of HCG that same day). This is my first round of IVF and although my doctor had mentioned it was a risk for me early in the process, I thought I had the all clear when nothing had happened after ER. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I have mild OHSS so have been managing at home, taking painkillers and drinking lots of gatorade. The nausea and pain has subsided a bit (this is day 5 of having it) but the swelling seems to have gotten worse. Looks horrible! From reading these posts it seems like it’s not going to go away anytime soon..I have another week before pregnancy test, hoping and praying…

Have a question I hope someone can help me out with. I’m due to take a 3 hour return flight in a few days . Does flying pose any increased risks to possible pregnancy when suffering from mild OHSS? I will wear flight socks, walk around and drink plenty but if anyone has any experience of this would be very grateful to get some advice.

Thanks a lot!

61 Nadz { 06.08.13 at 5:00 pm }

It is such a great help to read this thread. I have mild/moderate ohss and my transfer is due tomorrow. I have just felt so unbelievably unwell over the last week, and can not take anymore. I’ve been told to eat and drink as much as i can but i have no space for even small sips of water! The nausea and vomiting is the worst and i feel emotionally drained. Instead of looking forward to a pregnancy i feel guilty in saying i actually scared of becoming pregnant as i know its just going to get worse. Although my doctor is happy for me to go ahead with the transfer i have made the tough decision to have them frozen and go ahead when i am physically and emotionally recovered. I feel a bit guilty but i really cant bear these symptoms anymore.

62 So frustrated { 06.20.13 at 10:39 pm }

Hi everyone, this information has been most helpful! I don’t feel like I was informed about what was expected to happen after ER?

How are you Nadz? Are you recovered & scheduled your ET?

I did my ER on 6/13, we had 14 follicles and 4 fertilized & were frozen. We postponed our ET, because my hemoglobin is a 7 and my estrogen was over 5k. My symptoms are most awful! I am still severely bloated, shortness of breath, and I look like I am 3 months pregnant! I am not even going to mention the constipation, pressure when urinating and I can’t eat a thing…only a few bites will do and I am uncomfortable.

I have my first US and blood work tomorrow morning. I hope all goes well.

Peace & Blessings to everyone…looking forward to ET one day.

63 Kate- looking for natural ways to heal { 07.03.13 at 2:38 am }

I just had my third ER on Monday and am experiencing OHSS for the THIRD time!!! My first time was severe, second time mild, and my pregnancy tests were negative both times. Did not have the option to freeze my two embryos each time because they weren’t blastocysts and I also had to do 3 day transfers each time. This time we have 6 embryos and I’m already swollen so I’m hoping that if they are a good quality, we can freeze them and postpone. I just know it would be so much worse if I actually got pregnant. The second time, I knew my pregnancy test would be negative even before my BETAs because my OHSS went away after a week and didn’t come back. My suggestion is to eat/ drink salty foods and DON’T DRINK PLAIN WATER!!! Your body is flooded with fluid and you need sodium and protein to keep up your electrolyte balance or you will become dehydrated. I learned this the hard way the first time since my RE had no nutritional advice for me and I learned by researching it in the Internet after I was hospitalized. Gatorade is full of harmful food coloring additives and carcinogenic sugar substitutes so I have been trying to get my sodium and electrolytes with v8, vitamin water and unflavored pedialyte. If anyone else has any suggestions for healthy ways of replenishing electrolytes, please post it! Also coconut water may seem like a good option because of its natural electrolytes but its actually the opposite of what you need because its very high in potassium and low in sodium.

64 Trit { 07.15.13 at 8:14 pm }

I have OHSS only posting cause someone posted their doc told them not likely to get it 2 times. NOT true this is my 2nd ER and 2nd time OHSS .. Got over 30 eggs 1st time. The 1st time I was on blood thinners and put on 22 lbs in 2 days, this time my meds were as low as they could do and got 22 eggs put on 15 lbs so far 5 days out not getting better yet had to have an IV this time no blood thinners but this time my ovaries are much larger so I’m in much more pain.

65 Helen { 07.19.13 at 4:18 am }

I recently had my first IVF cycle and had to coast for a few days before my trigger when my oestradiol levels went too high. They lowered and we went ahead with EC where we got 23 eggs. In the end 12 fertilised. Soon after EC I started getting symptoms of OHSS and was so nauseous on the day of ET that I could barely sit upright. Nonetheless my clinic went ahead with ET – with hindsight, we should never have done this but I knew so little about OHSS. 2 days after ET I had to be hospitalised and spent 2 days in intensive care as my electrolytes were so out of whack I was at risk of heart failure and/or kidney failure! I was in the hospital for 10 days and had severe ascites (fluid in stomach) and minor pulmonary effusion (fluid on lungs). I looked 8 months pregnant. The cruel irony is that my OTD came and it was negative.
To top it all, during my recovery at home I developed severe back/chest pain and was then diagnosed with pneumonia. I spent 2 daus in hospital on intravenous antibiotics. Whilst recovering at home from this the pain got worse and I had to be admitted for the 3rd time and was diagnosed with a severe pulmonary effusion – the X-ray showed 60% of my lung pleura filled with fluid, squashing the lung. I had to have a chest drain inserted ( the most painful thing I have EVER had) and they took out 2 liters of fluid. I spent a further 6 days in the hospital.
I have spent the last 8 weeks seriously ill, all triggered by the IVF treatment. I know that severe/critical OHSS is rare but I feel that the clinics/doctors totally underplay how serious this illness is and can be life threatening. I will never go through a stimulated fresh cycle again, it’s just not worth the risk. Luckily I have 5 frozen embryos so when I am well enough we might try natural cycle FET. Good luck to you all and look after yourselves xxx

66 Krysti { 09.18.13 at 11:01 pm }

I was wondering how any one else went when they had OHSS, ive just been discharged from hospital, I’am 12 days post Embryo transfer and have been told I’m pregnant and my hcg level is 65 , this is my 2nd fresh ivf cycle and I had 1 frozen ET I between, im very excited Im pregnant but is the level of hcg normal for 12 days post ET? im now worried about everything, now home bed resting as the OHSS has knocked me about. any help would be great.

67 Abi { 11.29.13 at 2:28 pm }

I’m currently going through a severe case of OHSS. The good news is that i’m pregnant the bad news i have had to be fitted with a stomach drain for the last 8days. the fluids have just refused to stop building. i drain about 2800ml daily and there seems to be no end in sight. still under observation at the clinic

68 Jess { 12.18.13 at 8:10 pm }

I’m so happy I found this forum! It’s great to know that most of the things I’m experiencing, someone else has experienced before.

I’m an anonymous donor (third time), and it’s been about a week since my retrieval. The OHSS began almost immediately, and at this point, I’m nearly 10 pounds heavier than I was 7 days ago. None of my clothes fit. My belly is hard, huge, and tender. I was advised to go back to the fertility clinic today for an examination and possible tap. They found fluid in one of my lungs, but decided against doing a tap because I was urinating frequently and my nausea had subsided. I also told them that if NOT doing a tap was an option, I didn’t want it done. I couldn’t stand the idea of more anesthesia and more needles. My doctors retrieved a whopping 42 eggs this time, so the abdominal pain I had after the initial aspiration was, at times, unbearable. I didn’t want to feel that again if I could help it.

I did experience mild OHSS with my first donation/retrieval, but this time has been, by far, the worse. One new experience I had this time around that should probably be noted was the intense cramping/abdominal pain and vomiting the night after the retrieval. I woke up with the intention of going “number two”, and ended up just sitting on the toilet for about 20 minutes in cold sweats and puking into a trash can. It was terrible. The sharp, stabbing pains I felt, I believe, were the result of my moving bowels pushing against my tender, inflamed, injured ovaries. There just wasn’t enough room in there for everything! The first bowel movement felt like I had barbed wire in my gut, but everything after that got better. And that night was the only time I vomited.

Today, day 6, is the first day I’ve actually felt hungry, which makes me feel a little more human. But the weight gain continues, and it’s so strange and scary to feel this out of control of your body! Hopefully I’ll peak at some point and begin to return to normal.

I just wanted to share my experience, because all of your comments have helped me feel much more at ease. Thank you!

69 Kim { 01.14.14 at 1:25 pm }

Thanks for the post. I have experience a lot of what you spoke of. I also have a lot of fibroids going on down there. I got the disappointing news that I will go through the freezing process. So it made me think…. do I pull out now and get my fibroids remove? Initially I told the doctor I was concern about having so many painful fibroids. She stated don’t worry. I honestly think they should have removed the fibroids first before putting me through this process. If I get the fibroids remove it would be my second surgery for fibroids. What do you think?

70 KF { 04.25.14 at 9:48 pm }

I just had my ER and so far I feel fine, but I am so nervous about OHSS. I had 44 eggs retrieved. I’ve experienced no bloating or weight gain with the meds and my E2 is approximately 3500. I’m just waiting for it to happen though. Fingers crossed I make it through without exhibiting these symptoms. I’m even nervous to go through with the transfer on Wed. I may opt to postpone even if they say it is ok.

71 Kristy { 05.17.14 at 12:07 am }

I’m recovering from ohss. I became extremely bloated the day after retrieval and was so uncomfortable I could barely walk a few days later. My dr had me on high protein and gatorade diet, no water, high sodium, since retrieval because they got 22 eggs. She had me come in early on the day of transfer to do an ultrasound because of my symptoms. Sure enough I had lots of fluid in my abdomen and my ovaries are 3x their normal size. She talked about a drain but said since it is a procedure and it has it’s own risks it’s used as a last resort. I felt like I couldn’t breathe bc my diaphragm had no room to expand. She did a freeze all and refused to transfer that day and I was totally fine with that. I just wanted to feel better, not worse, and not celebrate a long awaited pregnancy while severely ill.
It’s been 11 days since retrieval and I feel like a human again! I’ve lost 10 of the 15 lbs I gained. She said I would suddenly just start peeing it out one day and she was right. I’m able to sleep laying down after having to be propped up for a week. Just know girls that this will go away, and when it does, every little normal think we take for granted feels SO amazing!!!
I’m still kind of traumatized and shudder when I think about where I was last week. But thankfully I have 6 great 5-6 days blasts frozen and waiting for me! I will never do a fresh cycle again. And I’m so thankful it wasn’t any worse that this because this page is proof or could be much much worse.

72 A { 08.06.14 at 5:01 am }

There is so much inaccurate information out there it is downright dangerous! This thread is great- I’m very concerned about the person whose doctor said you can’t get OHSS twice. This is absolutely untrue and having a history of OHSS is actually one of the risk factors that make you much more at risk of getting it again. Also if you are young, slim, poly cystic ovaries, high e2, high number of follicles. My FS will never permit an ET if there are indications of OHSS, he said it is very dangerous and the pregnancy outcomes in women with OHSS are not good if they go ahead with the transfer. Ie, you don’t just put your health at risk, you are potentially transferring an embryo that has less of a chance when it could have had a better chance if you had just waited to recover. If your dr advises a freeze all cycle please listen to that advice and if they recommend an ET and you have OHSS risk factors stand up for yourself and ask for a freeze all!!!

73 Suffering with OHSS { 09.28.14 at 7:10 pm }

I am so thankful I stumbled upon this thread, I read every comment! On my first IVF cycle, I had my ER last Sunday, exactly one week ago. I started feeling off (super nauseous, some bloating) right after doing the trigger shot, 36 hours prior to that on Friday night. The day of the ER was horrible. The cramps, pain, nausea, bloating hit pretty hard. That night, as I read someone else post, I woke up to have a bowel movement and felt extremely nauseous. I hate vomitting so I did all that I could not to and was able to go back to sleep. The days after my belly continued to grow. I wish I had measured my belly before I started this cycle, I am guessing it was around 34 inches around my lower stomach. It is now 39 inches at it’s widest! I am 30 years old, slim, small frame but tall, and have a high egg reserve. I also have severe endometriosis, not sure if that factors with anything. They were only able to retrieve 8 eggs even though 24+ follicles had grown. On day 3 after ER, they advised me to do the ET right away, because only 4 embryos survived. I went in so nauseated and told them there was no way I could handle the water drinking, the transfer, etc. They did an ultrasound and found fluid in my abdomen, not a lot around my ovaries, but they were enlarged. They told me I had moderate OHSS. I already assumed I did at that point. Plan was to see how I felt on day 5 and do an ET then. Two days went past and I only got larger and worse. By then, only 2 embryos made it to blastocyst stage and they were frozen. I am so happy I didn’t get the ET! Every day I can’t imagine it getting worse and it seems to. A pregnancy would be horrible for my body at the moment. I have been trying to cope with bed rest, drinking lots of gatorade, protein drinks, coconut water, V8 juice. Today my nausea subsided so I ate some salty ham, it was really good! My stomach seems to be getting bigger, but I hope I will get better soon as some of you have around day 7-10. As others have said, don’t do the ET if you have OHSS! It will only get worse. It’s not worth it. I will try to update again later with when I really did feel better, because reading this I felt like I was left hanging in the recovery times.

74 Kttn { 11.20.14 at 10:09 pm }

Hi ladies!

I’m so glad to have found this thread as it was very informative. I had ER on the 10th of this month – 23 eggs, 13 matured. I felt the bloating and nausea but figured it was due to the antibiotics and from the retrieval so I never told the doctor. On day of transfer (15th), they did ultrasound and found that i had moderate OHSS. We only had 2 embryos that made it to the blast stage so doctor advised me to freeze them. After reading all your comments, I’m glad I chose to wait but I was very devastated. I went home and cried for hours…I was so anxious that it was THE day but now it’s been put on hold and then we only have 2 embryos that’s being put in at once so this is our only chance. I couldn’t help but to have all these thoughts running through my head. My pain has been bearable the past week but today it has gotten worse. My tummy doesn’t feel bloated and I haven’t noticed any weight gain. I was in for an ultrasound yesterday and my ovaries are still very large and filled with liquid. There are also some cysts developing but the nurse didn’t seemed concerned with it. I see the doctor again tomorrow, I might ask why didn’t he monitor the chances of hyper stimulation since he knew I was a PCOS patient. I really think they should pay more attention to us at every stage so they can try to modify the dosage of medication or find other alternatives. Also, I was only told lots of protein, Gatorade and water…nothing else. Guess I will start increasing my sodium intake tomorrow.

75 Feb { 12.04.14 at 7:07 pm }

Dear anonymous poster #47: If you happen to ever come back to this website and read through this again, I am also an sOHSS survivor. I had it in at least two of my three spontaneous pregnancies (my first singleton pregnancy I did not receive an ultrasound until the anatomy scan – we do not have verification of sOHSS in that pregnancy. My second singleton pregnancy, I landed in the hospital due to a burst cyst during my late first trimester, and was treated like a liar when I said I’d not undergone any infertility treatments, due to what they believed was OHSS. My final pregnancy was with twins in 2012, and I developed severe sOHSS – it resulted in oophorectomy of my right ovary at 17w along). My last experience happened so closely to your post that I almost thought I must have written your’s – but your post date was nearly three weeks before mine even started up.

I created a facebook page dedicated to sOHSS (OHSS occurring in spontaneous pregnancies without any kind of infertility treatment) and have added links to many medical journals. I am looking to connect with any other people who share this (now known to be genetic mutation) condition. Come find me!

76 Jenny { 12.05.14 at 8:10 pm }

Like others, I’m happy to see this thread. With about 50 follicles, 25 of which produced eggs retrieved this morning, I’m looking promising for OHSS. I have read that the trigger shot I took, Lupron/Leuprolide, mitigates almost all risk associated w/ OHSS. Have any of you experienced and used the same and found this to be true? This morning before the retrieval, I felt flushed, faint, nauseous and broke out in a sweat. They said this was normal but I feared it was early onset of mild OHSS. Obviously scared of going through any kind of pain that puts me in the hospital or bed for days and weeks!

77 Martha N { 04.19.15 at 8:33 pm }

Phew! Glad I’m not alone in all of this. Just left the hospital on an 8 day hospital stay for severe ohss. Gained 53 lbs of abdominal fluid and both ovaries measured the size of basketballs. Yes, basketballs! I was on two IVs, constant morphine, an oxygen machine, and had 4200 mL drained midway through the week. The 35 lbs came back overnight, but it took pressure off of my lungs.

I’ve lost 10 of the 53 lbs of fluid in the 2 days since I’ve been home. Praying it comes off quickly, because I look 9 months pregnant. I’m having severe contractions of my ovaries shrinking. Horrrrible feeling! Doctor will be doing the FET next month. Wish us luck!

78 MaryG { 05.21.15 at 5:27 pm }

I am almost 6 weeks pregnant and I have severe OHSS. I had my transfer early this month and everything was great. About a week later I started getting pain and swelling and it just keeps coming. I had about 3 liter removed last week that helped for about 24 hours then it all came back. I was put in the hospital for an overnight stay to watch my kidneys, oxygen, and to get my pain under control. I look 9 months pregnant I cannot fit into any of my clothes. It has been so horrible! I am ready for this to go away so I can focus on my pregnancy. My dr told me that it should start going away when I am 8 weeks, but I have read many stories where it has lasted a lot longer. Anyone going through this while pregnant?

79 Mer { 06.05.15 at 4:53 pm }

Hi MaryG,
I’m in the hospital right now with moderate late-onset OHSS. My stimulation and retrieval went as planned; only 10 eggs, my numbers were good, I got a little puffy between the 3-day FET and the following 3 days, but nothing to write home about and it subsided.
Exactly seven days after the transfer, I felt myself blowing up like a balloon as I walked home from work. I went to my nearest little ER the next day, on the weekend, and explained my history of IVF and my concerns about OHSS, adding that I was in pain and had gained 3 pounds in a day. The doctor said my belly “didn’t move like ascites”, stuck his thumb in my ovary which made me scream, and diagnosed me with constipation and gas from the progesterone. I went home because I figured that if I wasn’t nauseated, he might be right. I was too tired to take a taxi to the major hospital where I did the procedure, but luckily I did send an email to my specialists. They wrote back that I should come in right away after the weekend. By that time I had gained 9 pounds, and they hospitalized me. I’m now up 15 pounds and my waist has gone from 27 to 35 inches. My ovaries are humorously lopsided: one kiwi and one grapefruit. I have been hospitalized for 3 days, but am very grateful for the care and the drips and the heparin shots.
Of course, I was pregnant. My docs said the beta test was a mere formality. I’m hoping it will stick, because it’s what keeps me going when it hurts too much to stand. Remember that OHSS can flare with implantation as well as with the HCG trigger shot!

80 Karen { 06.18.15 at 10:35 pm }

I’m a second time egg donor and my retrieval was on Monday but for some strange reason despite having lots of follicles and all looking good they never got any eggs. Now I’m very thirsty and urinating alot at night? Never had this first time around. It’s a scary thing is Egg donation!

81 Eldy { 09.07.15 at 1:46 am }

I think I had ohss after taking 50mg clomid. I was already ovulating, but a specialist said Clomid would give me a ‘boost’. I was down in a London tube when I ovulated. I started to feel really sick and clammy and then the pain in my abdomen came and took my breath away. I took a few more steps and each one made pain jolt through me, and then I threw up and passed out. I was with a colleague and she sat with me until I could hobble out again. My belly swelled up and I sat in a park sipping water while she went to the meeting on her own. After a couple of days I felt better – but my belly was still too tender to do yoga classes. I tried to contact the specialist, but she didn’t respond. My hormones have been a mess ever since this happened (3 months ago). My FSH has jumped from 12 to 46 – and for the first time In the two years that I’ve been tracking my cycles, I’ve had two annovulatory cycles. As soon as my hormones regulate (if they regulate) I’m going to do IVF. I’ve told the fertility doc at the ivf clinic about my reaction to Clomid, but I’m not sure he believes me. I’m a bit scared of how I’ll react to much stronger fertility medication…

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