Ovarian stimulation is a drug therapy aimed at the multiple growth of follicles in the ovaries by increasing the number of oocytes available for fertilization.
It is generally considered a safe treatment, however in some cases it can lead to the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The medical specialist in assisted reproduction, by evaluating each case in detail, will be able to establish whether one is faced with one of the possible risk factors that can predispose to OHSS, in order to prevent this syndrome by adjusting or suspending the treatment plan, also based on constant hormonal and ultrasound monitoring.
Compared to the past, OHSS has a considerably lower incidence, thanks to the increasingly in-depth knowledge on the subject, the development of new drugs that allow better control of ovarian stimulation, the knowledge of risk factors, the use of investigations that allow the ” identification of patients at risk and improvement of laboratory techniques for assisted reproduction.
Currently, the results of studies on the correlation between ovarian stimulation and the increased risk of gynecological cancer are reassuring. The risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, trophoblastic cancer or cancer in the offspring does not appear to be increased with ovulation induction. Furthermore, the increased risk of uterine cancer seems to be more related to the infertility of the patients rather than to the induction of ovulation itself. However, before embarking on the pharmacological path, the patient will make a breast examination in order to avoid neoplastic pathologies that could worsen in the presence of high concentrations of estrogens. Furthermore, the question is often asked whether ovarian stimulation can anticipate the period of menopause, the answer is no because the oocytes that are recruited are part of a cohort of which, under physiological conditions, only one would have ovulated while the rest would have gone into atresia. With drug therapy, the recruitment window expands, leading to maturation of the entire oocyte cohort.