When we plan hormone therapy in connection with the IVF treatment, the aim is to retrieve an appropriate number of follicles and eggs (8-10 eggs). However, very few females react very strongly to hormone stimulation and produce a large amount of eggs (often more than 15). A minority of these females with many eggs are at risk of developing hyperstimulation symptoms.

The reason for this hyperstimulation is an increased fluid in the follicles and leakage of fluid into the abdominal cavity, sometimes up to as much as several litres of fluid. This may cause fluid disturbances in the bloodstream, also known as electrolyte disturbances. The increased quantity of fluid in the abdominal cavity may distend the stomach leading to pressure towards the lungs and the stomach.

1-4 days after egg retrieval, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Bloated stomach and abdominal pressure (looking 5 months pregnant!)
  • Nausea and food aversion
  • Finding it difficult to lie flat when you sleep
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling thirsty and an urge for salty food

 The next days it is important that you:

 Drink 3 litres daily to maintain urine production:
Water, mineral water, apple and tomato juice (the latter to compensate for lost minerals)

Weigh yourself every morning:
You must weigh yourself every day to determine the rate of fluid build. If you put on more than 1.5-2 kg of weight, you should call the clinic.

Take it easy:
However, it is important that you change between taking short walks and resting with your legs up. It might be necessary to report in sick.
Hyperstimulation may sometimes be uncomfortable for you and in extreme cases, the symptoms may last for weeks depending on severity. If you become pregnant, this may often worsen the symptoms, but they always disappear after a few weeks. Hyperstimulation does not in any way reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. We will keep in contact with you and perhaps ask you to come for a scan in order to control your ovaries and see if there is any fluid in your stomach. It might become necessary to relieve your stomach of the fluid, which will often have a significant effect on the symptoms. This is done in the same manner as the egg aspiration procedure, but as we do not have to enter the ovaries, the discomfort will be minimal. This minor procedure does not reduce your chances of becoming pregnant.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to call us at the clinic, tel no +45 76245020 or our emergency phone +45 31151505.

 

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