Skip to main content

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Question for Department of Health

UIN HL5319, tabled on 2 March 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 25 February (HL4975), how many adverse incidents due to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) have been reported by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency each year since 1991; why the HFEA’s strategy for 2014–17 does not expressly set out the actions it proposes to take as regards OHSS; and to what extent this indicates that the HFEA intends not to take further action to mitigate the risks of OHSS or to "ensure that appropriate standards of practice are implemented consistently throughout the sector" as recommended by the McCracken Report.

Answered on

17 March 2015

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has not reported any adverse incidents due to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in any year since 1991, as stimulation of the ovaries is the purpose of the medicines used in fertility treatment. OHSS primarily occurs because of an individual patient’s reaction to such medicines.

The HFEA’s strategy for 2014–17 does not expressly set out the actions it proposes to take as regards OHSS because this level of detail is usually set out in the annual business plan that supports the strategy. The HFEA business plan for the current business year (2014-15) was updated in August 2014 to reflect the agreed new strategy. The relevant section states:

‘With professional groups explore whether more data needs to be collected to better understand factors contributing to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) to reduce incidence.’

The updated business plan can be found on the HFEA’s website at the following link and is attached:

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-08-04_-_Business_Plan_revision_-_mid_2014-2015_pdf_-_active.pdf

The HFEA has advised that this work is ongoing.