To decrease your chances of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, you'll need an individualized plan for your fertility medications. Expect your doctor to carefully monitor each treatment cycle, including frequent ultrasounds to check the development of follicles and blood tests to check your hormone levels.

Strategies to help prevent OHSS include:

  • Adjusting medication dosage. Your doctor uses the lowest possible dose of gonadotropins to achieve the goals of stimulating your ovaries and triggering ovulation.
  • Coasting. If your estrogen level is high or you have a large number of developed follicles, your doctor may have you stop injectable medications and wait a few days before giving HCG, which triggers ovulation. This is known as "coasting."
  • Avoiding use of an HCG "trigger" shot. Because OHSS often develops after an HCG "trigger" shot is given, alternatives to HCG for triggering ovulation are being studied as a way to prevent OHSS.
  • Freezing embryos. If you're undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), all the follicles (mature and immature) may be removed from your ovaries to reduce the chance of OHSS. Mature follicles are fertilized and frozen, and your ovaries are allowed to rest for one or two cycles. You can resume the IVF process at a later date, when your body is ready.
Feb. 14, 2014