Hyperstimulation

Ovulation induction can cause a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This is an over-reaction to the medicines used to stimulate the ovaries. When having IVF and ICSI, around one in twenty women will develop OHSS. For most women, the symptoms are mild. However, for a few it can cause more serious health problems. If you have any of the following symptoms you should contact your fertility clinic or GP straightaway:

  • feeling sick and being sick
  • severe pains and swelling in your abdomen (tummy)
  • feeling short of breath
  • feeling faint
  • passing a small amount of urine compared to normal

The chances of having an ectopic pregnancy may be higher in women who have IVF or other fertility treatments. An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo starts to develop outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube. The main symptoms include:

  • one-sided low abdominal pain
  • vaginal bleeding
  • dark brown or red vaginal discharge

The pain will get worse as the pregnancy goes on. If you have these symptoms you should see your doctor straight away.

Removing the eggs for IVF or ICSI involves passing a tube through the vagina and into the ovary. This means that there is a risk of infection. If this happens, it can usually be treated with an antibiotic.