Panda's OHSS Experience
I had a "moderate" case of OHSS on my first round of ICSI. My cycle up to and including egg collection went really well. I carried on as normal throughout the whole cycle, and even did a spinning class the night before I was due in for egg collection. Egg collection day came and they retrieved a bumper crop of 26 eggs from me, which they said put me at risk of OHSS so I was told to go home, rest and drink as much water as I could manage.
Day 2 after egg collection, I started to get some abdominal pain and swelling, so I went back to my clinic. They scanned my ovaries and told me I had a very mild case of OHSS. My embryos were doing really well and they were going to try and get them to blastocyst stage (day 5) so I was instructed to continue resting and drinking gallons of water and that hopefully by day 5, the OHSS would have subsided and I'd be able to have the egg transfer.
Day 5 came and I felt a little better and the clinic scanned me again and said I was ok to go ahead with egg transfer. I had two blastocysts put back and was again told to drink gallons of water. 3 days after the transfer, I was feeling very ill, my stomach was swelling quickly and I had a terrible pain in my shoulder. I consulted the booklet on OHSS that the clinic gave me, panicked and rang the out of hours team. I was told to get to A&E as soon as possible.
By the time I got to A&E, I was in absolute agony and my stomach was so distended, I felt like it was going to rip open. They did a urine pregnancy test which came back as very faintly positive but I felt so ill that I don't remember feeling happy about it. I got admitted up to the ward and once there, the doctor came to put an IV line into the back of my hand but my veins had started to collapse and I then passed out on the floor from the pain. They managed to finally get a line into my arm halfway between wrist and elbow which was really uncomfortable but it was vitally important to get fluid into me. Getting fluid into the body is the best way to manage OHSS as it flushes out the residue drugs from your body.
I had gained 3 stone worth of fluid around my abdomen and my waist measurement went from 28 inches to 36 inches literally overnight. I looked 6 months pregnant! I had to spend 8 days in hospital, was weighed and measured every day to see if the swelling was going down and had to measure all the fluid that went in and all the fluid that came out. Peeing in a jug was what I had been reduced to! A blood test confirmed I was pregnant and the HCG levels were off the chart so it was looking possible that I was carrying twins.
I was finally allowed home and spent a further 6 weeks resting at home before I went back to work. On top of the OHSS pain, I had the most horrendous nausea and the only time I didn't feel sick was if I was eating. Carbs, tons of them. My first scan at 6 weeks confirmed I had two healthy heartbeats. My ovaries were still very swollen but were on their way back to normality and luckily I had no cysts.
As I said at the start of this story, I had what doctors described as a "moderate" case of OHSS. The pain was incredible, so I'd hate to think what a severe case feels like!