What Egg Donors Need to Know About OHSS
Without the generosity of egg donors, it would be impossible for many individuals and couples to have a child and create the families of their dreams. Becoming an egg donor is more than just a medical procedure – you’re literally giving the gift of life to another person. To ensure a positive and fulfilling experience for everyone involved, it’s important that the health and safety of all parties are attended to throughout the entire process.
While egg donation is generally safe for egg donors, as with all medical procedures, there are some risks that egg donors should aware of – specifically, a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
What Is OHSS?
OHSS is a condition that occurs in women who are undergoing ovulation induction via hormonal injections. During a cycle, egg donors must prepare for egg retrieval, which requires the use of ovulation-stimulating medicines such as human gonadotropin and follicle-stimulating hormones. These drugs induce the ovarian follicles to develop multiple eggs at once. OHSS occurs as an excessive response to the sudden surge in hormone levels – the ovaries swell and become tender or in some cases, painful.
While most cases of OHSS are typically mild enough to go away on their own, in some cases it can be severe enough that it requires hospitalization. It can be difficult to predict who will experience OHSS or how severe it will be, so it’s important for egg donors to closely monitor any symptoms that occur and take steps toward reducing the risk of having OHSS.
What Are the Symptoms of OHSS?
Symptoms for OHSS can be categorized as being mild, moderate, or severe. In cases of mild to moderate OHSS, the symptoms are:
- Ovarian tenderness
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal bloating
In more severe cases of OHSS, you may experience:
- Intense abdominal pain
- Rapid weight gain
- Persistent nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Enlarged abdomen
- Decreased urination
What Should I Do if I’m Experiencing OHSS Symptoms?
Even if you are experiencing only mild symptoms, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Please be sure to explain your symptoms and their respective severity as best as you can. The best way to prevent OHSS from becoming severe is to proactively monitor and report your symptoms so that you and your doctor can observe the situation and develop an OHSS prevention plan.
As an egg donor, you play an important role in helping someone else create a family. To have a safe and fulfilling experience, it’s important that you pay close attention to your body during the process and, if you’re experiencing any OHSS symptoms, report them immediately to your doctor. To learn more about the experience of being an egg donor, please contact MyEggBank today.