£1.78m funding could help development new treatments for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in Sheffield

New treatments for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome could be on their way, thanks to a new multi-million pound grant for researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 14:17 pm
New treatments for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome could be on their way

It’s hoped the £1.78m of funding could lead to the development and testing of new and cost-effective treatments that could provide better treatment for women with this syndrome - a side effect of fertility treatment.

The groundbreaking trial will be led by Jessop Wing, a part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, across 20 UK-wide fertility units. It is being funded through the National Institute for Health Research’s prestigious Health Technology programme, which aims to demonstrate the broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from the NHS.

Mr Mostafa Metwally, a consultant gynaecologist and sub-specialist in reproductive medicine and Surgery at Jessop Fertility, and chief investigator of the trial, said: “We are delighted to be leading this transformational research into the management of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a potentially serious side effect of assisted reproductive treatments caused by overstimulation in the ovaries.

“This trial is a potential game-changer in the way women with this condition are treated, as earlier and quicker interventions could prevent the need for women to be admitted to hospital.

“As well as being much better for both women and their families, it could also save the NHS an estimated £2.62million in inpatient hospital admissions per year because the care could be provided in an outpatient setting.”

The funding is the second consecutive Health Technology Assessment programme awarded to this research team at the Jessop Wing in the past few years, and confirms its status as the UK’s leading centre for pioneering innovative research that aims to improve the care of women undergoing fertility treatment.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome affects as many as 33 in 100 women. In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild, causing mild abdominal swelling, discomfort and nausea, and will recede quickly.

However, in three to eight per cent of these women, symptoms can worsen, leading to more serious complications which require admission to hospital. This study seeks to identify new ways to stop the condition from worsening and prevent the need for women to require inpatient hospitalisation.

Initially the research team will develop novel protocols for the early treatment of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome to be used in an outpatient setting. These novel treatments include techniques to drain fluid that collects as a side effect of the condition from the abdomen and the use of a drug known as ‘antagonist’ which may be beneficial in shortening the course of the condition.

Once this piece of work is complete, a randomised controlled clinical trial will be available to women who develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which will give them the opportunity to receive one of these treatments in an outpatient setting.

Clare Pye, lead research nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “Women undergoing IVF are monitored on a daily basis, so by offering quicker and earlier management to this group of women, fertility units across the country are uniquely placed to better manage women’s care at this all important time.”

The study will begin this December this year and will run for five years.