Many U.S. doctors favor using fertility treatments that administer high doses of hormones to a woman due to higher pregnancy success rates when compared to low-dose in vitro fertilization (IVF), but these high-dose treatments may also lead to a rare complication called Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
In high-dose IVF, a patient is given injections of a drug Lupron to suppress her ovaries causing temporary menopausal symptoms, according to The New York Times. Then the ovaries are stimulated with hormones to produce more eggs. The dose of hormones is much higher than low-dose treatments and the length of stimulation is longer.
The National Institutes of Health said that high-dose stimulation leads to OHSS in 10 percent of IVF patients. The condition causes ovaries to become swollen and they can leak fluid into the chest and stomach with symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening, according to theTimes.
A recent study suggests that OHSS may not be the only side effect of high-dose IVF treatments. The therapy has been linked to babies with lower birth rates, as well as an increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Concerns have also been raised over Lupron because it is used off-label in IVF, according to the Times. Some of the adverse events from its use in IVF that have been reported include liver disorders, memory loss, bone loss, and severe muscle, bone and joint pain.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe medical procedure, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation and to find out if you have grounds to pursue legal action. For legal help, call (800) 581-6358.