Egg Freezing Side Effects


What Are The Most Common Side Effects?

Because hormone stimulation makes the ovaries are work overtime, some common side effects can include weight gain, abdominal discomfort, bloating and irritability. These symptoms will, most likely, increase in intensity the final day or two prior to your retrieval.
An uncommon, but potential side effect you should be aware of is OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome).

What is OHSS?

OHSS occurs when the ovaries are overstimulated causing them to become extremely swollen and painful. It’s classified into three types: mild, moderate and severe. About 10-20% of women experience some form of mild OHSS manifested in weight gain, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. While severe OHSS occurs in only 1% of women, it can require hospitalization and aspiration of accumulated fluid in the abdomen.

How are stimulation monitoring and OHSS related?

According to the ASRM: “The keys to preventing OHSS are experience with ovulation induction therapy and recognition of risk factors for OHSS. Ovulation induction regimens should be highly individualized, carefully monitored, and use the minimum dose and duration of gonadotropin therapy necessary to achieve the therapeutic goal.”
This assessment hits home the importance of working with a quality clinic who will monitor your stimulation protocol carefully. If you are a likely candidate for OHSS, your doctor may decide to do a lupron instead of a hcG trigger. Unlike the hcG trigger which lasts in your system for 7-10 days, Lupron is a shorter acting medication. Since you are exposed to a medication that is shorter acting and won’t be stimulating your ovaries even after the egg retrieval, OHSS may be prevented.

What can I do post-procedure to prevent OHSS?

Drinks lots of fluids. In particular, fluids with electrolytes like Gatorade and coconut water. In addition, there are a number of medications (such as IV Hespan and IV Albumin) that can be given on the day of the egg retrieval that may prevent OHSS.

If you think you have OHSS...

If you think you may have OHSS, contact your clinic immediately. Although severe cases are rare, if you are unable to reach your clinic go directly to an emergency room. Do NOT self treat.