IVF side effects and risks are fairly documented but a new report is shedding light on another side effect that's potentially fatal. Fertility clinics allegedly cover up a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). What are its risk to women?
Some 16 to 60 women developed OHSS in the last six years in the U.K. alone, as doctors disclosed. Daily Mail, however, learned over 800 women were hospitalized due to this complication from IVF treatments. The news outlet suggested fertility clinics under-reported disclosures on OHSS. Four women allegedly died from this side effect.
The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority launched an inquiry into the cover-up among fertility clinics, especially with the increase in demand for IVF treatments. The agency's chairperson Sally Cheshire told Daily Mail of its concerns in protecting women's health as lawmakers propose an amendment to the IVF laws.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome happens when a woman takes in too much hormone from IVF treatments. Direct symptoms of OHSS include the swelling of ovaries, which causes abdominal pain.
OHSS also trigger weight gain, shortness of breath and vomiting. Severe OHSS, on the other hand, result in additional symptoms like blood clots, decreased in urination, dehydration and enlargement of the abdomen, as per Mayo Clinic.
"I was rushed to intensive care and, the next day, doctors told me I'd had a heart attack," mom Lee Cowden said, as per another Daily Mail report. "The fertility drugs I was taking had led to OHSS and caused a blood clot in my heart."
"I was bedridden for two weeks and then found out that the treatment hadn't worked," another mom, Claire Dower, shared. She, however, went on with her IVF treatments following a two-year recovery, which fortunately succeeded.
It is unclear how wide OHSS affect women in America. Learn more about the IVF side effect in the video below.