Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: steps to maximize success and minimize effect for assisted reproductive outcome

Fertil Steril. 2010 Jun;94(1):173-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.02.049. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


Objective: To investigate the strategies used to decrease the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and their impact on pregnancy and live birth rates.

Design: Retrospective cohort analysis.

Setting: University hospital.

Patient(s): One hundred eighty-eight patients undergoing fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles between 2000 and 2004, with peak serum estradiol levels >2500 pg/mL and presumed to be at risk for OHSS.

Intervention(s): Coasting and elective embryo cryopreservation were evaluated for their effect on OHSS and live birth rates.

Main outcome measure(s): Pregnancy, live birth rates, and OHSS incidence.

Result(s): Out of 188 patients at risk for OHSS, 21 patients had their cycles coasted (group 1), and elective embryo cryopreservation was performed in 32 patients (group 2). In 135 patients with no other risk factors, ovulation was triggered with human chorionic gonadotropin and embryo transfer was performed (group 3). The incidence in our IVF population was 38 out of 1002 (3.8%). The overall incidence of OHSS for those who had an estradiol level >2500 pg/mL was 20.2% (38 out of 188), and none of the patients in group 1 developed OHSS; 13 out of 32 patients in group 2 (40.6%) and 25 out of 135 (18.5%) patients in group 3 developed OHSS. The live birth rate was 38%, 40%, and 45% in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and the cumulative live birth rate was 52%, 75%, and 59%, respectively.

Conclusion(s): Elective cryopreservation of embryos with subsequent frozen embryo transfer and coasting are effective ways of maximizing pregnancy and limiting severe OHSS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Rate / trends
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embryo Transfer / methods
  • Embryo Transfer / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted* / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome