Cochrane Summaries

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Embryo freezing for preventing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

D'Angelo A, Amso NN
Published Online: 
15 February 2012

More research is needed to determine whether using frozen embryos and or intravenous albumin can reduce the rate of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in IVF. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a complication of using hormones to induce ovulation (stimulate the release of eggs) in IVF (in vitro fertilisation). The drugs can sometimes over-stimulate ovaries. Severe OHSS can be life-threatening. Fewer hormones are needed if frozen embryos are transferred in a subsequent cycle, although this lowers pregnancy rates. However, this update the review first published in 2002 (D'Angelo 2002) found there is not enough evidence to show whether using frozen embryos and or intravenous albumin infusion (artificial fluid to increase the woman's blood volume) can reduce OHSS in women who are at high risk. More research is needed on effects on pregnancy rates.