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Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a potentially serious side-effect of the drugs given during ART (Assisted Reproductive Technique) treatment. Although the condition occurs in only 3-5% of women undergoing ART, acupuncturists specialising in treating infertility will see it far more often, as the women they treat often fall into those categories of patient which are susceptible to OHSS. If practitioners can identify the onset of OHSS at a very early stage, most cases of mild to moderate OHSS can be successfully treated with acupuncture to relieve what may be significant discomfort, to prevent the development of severe OHSS and to allow an embryo transfer to take place. In severe cases acupuncture can help to alleviate many of the more serious symptoms in conjunction with Western medical treatment. If a pregnancy results when the patient is still experiencing OHSS, the pregnancy hormones will worsen the symptoms. Acupuncture in this case is an invaluable tool to help the patient through what could otherwise be a very difficult first trimester.
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