This week I had the opportunity to share my IVF story with a national newspaper. A journalist from the newspaper approached me and asked if I would talk about my experience of OHSS for an article they will be publishing in a couple of weeks time.
The article will look at the apparent decline in figures of women suffering from this side effect.
We asked our own experts why they thought these figures may be on the decline. They told us that knowledge and research of IVF is continuously improving. If it looks like a woman may develop OHSS, she is put on a different protocol, with less FSH to help prevent it. She is also offered elective freezing.
When I sat with my consultant, before I embarked on my IVF, he talked me through the ‘small print’.
He explained that because I have PCOS, there was a chance I could develop OHSS. He told me which signs to look out for and how dangerous it could potentially be. However, nothing he could tell me was going to get in the way of me having a baby. Nothing. I heard his warnings but I wasn’t really listening. I just wanted to kick start that treatment!
As a result, I didn’t pay attention to the cramps and bloating in my stomach until it was too late. I developed severe OHSS after my embryos were put back in. I was in so much pain, and I was scared and anxious. However, the doctors and nurses at Homerton hospital where I was treated were incredible. They got me back on track, and 9 months later, delivered my twin girls!
I feel that it’s important to share this story so as to understand first hand the possible side effects of IVF (regardless of whether or not the figures may be on the decline) and also the importance of listening to your body.