The day of Egg retrieval is an important and exciting one in the IVF journey. It is the day that all the mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries to prepare them to be fertilized with sperm. As the egg retrieval is a medical procedure and is done under general anaesthesia, patients can be understandably nervous. However, staying informed about what to expect on the day can help ease any nervousness you may have and help to prepare you.
Once you have changed into the surgical gown, the nurse will get you started on your IV line. Then the anesthesiologist will do a review of your medication records and history, after which the sedation process will begin. Once the anesthesiologist confirms you are sufficiently sedated, the doctor will begin the egg retrieval procedure.
The doctor will use an ultrasound in order to guide a special needle into the vagina, through the cervix and into the ovary. The doctor will remove the mature eggs from the follicles, one by one. Generally this entire process takes about 20 minutes. The retrieved eggs are transferred to the embryology lab to be fertilised with the husband’s sperm.
You may experience mild cramping or a bit of abdominal/pelvic discomfort afterwards, and this is normal.
You will be transferred to the recovery room and kept under observation. Usually in 1-2 hours the effects of the anesthesia wears off. At this point, you can get dressed and go home.
While most people recover completely from the effects, some people are sensitive to the effects of anesthesia and may feel a little nausea and dizziness for some time. This lasts until the anesthesia has left your system which is why we advise that you do not drive home by yourself.
Mild pelvic discomfort is also normal and your doctor can prescribe pain med prescription. If you experience severe pain, cramping or significant bleeding in the days after your egg retrieval you should contact your doctor immediately. Complications are rare, and range between 1 in 1500 and 1 in 4000 egg collections. In almost all cases patients feel completely normal within 48 hours after the procedure.
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