Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Egg Retrieval- What Can You Expect During the Process?

IVF involves a number of steps such as ovulation induction and egg retrieval, sperm retrieval and then fertilization and subsequently - embryo transfer. A single IVF cycle can take around 2 weeks and more than 1 cycle may be needed. In case you are using your own eggs for the In Vitro Fertilization, you will be given hormone treatment at the start of the cycle.

This stimulates your ovaries and induces it to produce multiple eggs (instead of the single egg it produces every month). Multiple eggs are required because some of the eggs will not fertilize & develop in normal manner post fertilization. As you can see, egg retrieval is an important part of the IVF procedure. Most patients who come to our clinic have a number of questions about the entire IVF procedure.

About Being Well-Informed

I like to ensure that the patient is made aware of every little detail, the possibilities, the limitations and what the chances of success are. Every patient is also encouraged to read our online book – HOW TO HAVE A BABY. The idea being that you as a patient should be well-informed about how every step of the IVF procedure works. This will improve your comfort levels and you will be more confident and positive while you are going through the treatment. Let’s look at the egg retrieval process in detail: 

Egg Retrieval- The Process

•    Typically, the  egg retrieval process  takes place  under sedation (there is no pain)
•    A needle that is attached to the internal ultrasound probe is first inserted into the vagina
•    The doctor will use the ultrasound to get a view of the ovaries as well as  locate the ovarian-follicles
•    Each  follicle will be punctured by the needle and very gentle suction will be applied- this removes  the egg as well as  the fluid  inside the follicle
•    The embryologist will then evaluate the fluid and locate the egg
•    The eggs and sperm are then placed in a Petri dish to allow the fertilization  to take place

Preparing for Egg Retrieval

•    In most instances this procedure takes place under anesthesia. You  might be asked  to avoid and drinking or eating  anything for 8-10 hours  before the  procedure
•    You will have  to remove all your  jewelry, watch, nail polish and contact lenses
•    The anesthesiologist will meet with you before the  procedure and will obtain  basic medical information  from you and then start an IV
•    Once you have settled in the OR, you will be given some medication via  an IV – this will sedate  you

Will There Be any Pain?

•    Since anesthesia has been administered, you will be asleep and will feel  nothing while the procedure  is being conducted
•    After the procedure, you may just experience a certain amount of cramping, which will be very similar to the cramps you sometimes get  during menstruation
•    The doctor  might prescribe some pain medication to relieve the discomfort

What Happens After Egg Retrieval?

•    Hormonal supplements will be  given- these  provide the endometrial lining some additional support

Symptoms to Look Out For

It’s very important that you take all these medications the way they have been prescribed by your doctor. You may also be asked to avoid sexual intercourse for a certain period of time.  The symptoms you should be wary about are:

•    Temperature above 39°C
•    Severe abdominal pain/swelling
•    Severe nausea/vomiting which doesn’t go away
•    Heavy vaginal bleeding (though light -bleeding is normal)
•    Difficulty urinating/painful urination
•    Fainting/dizziness

If any of these symptoms persist beyond a day or two, contact your doctor without delay.  The egg retrieval procedure is a very delicate and specialized one, just as every other step in IVF is. It’s important that you choose your clinic with care as it reduces the chances of complications and increases those of a pregnancy.

Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better!

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