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Egg Retrieval

Our team can help you prepare for egg retrieval

Egg retrieval is an important step during an IVF cycle. While you take medication for ovarian stimulation, the team at our Virginia fertility center will carefully monitor the development of the egg-containing follicles in your ovaries. When the follicles are 18-20mm, we will instruct you to self-administer an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which helps the eggs inside the follicles to undergo the final maturation process. We time the hCG injection 35 hours before your retrieval.

We usually schedule a retrieval in the morning, between 8am and 10am. We ask that you prepare for the retrieval in the following ways.

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the retrieval.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and no jewelry or perfume to the procedure.
  • Arrive 30 minutes early.
  • Arrange for a ride home.

The appointment for an egg retrieval lasts at least an hour. You should plan to rest after the procedure and should not be left alone for the remainder of the day.

How egg retrieval works as part of an IVF cycle

Egg retrieval at our Virginia fertility center proceeds as follows.

  • We will anesthetize you using Propofol, which will place you into a twilight sleep that doesn’t require intubation. While you are anesthetized, you will feel no discomfort.
  • Your doctor will insert a special transvaginal ultrasound probe with a needle guide attachment into your vagina.
  • Using ultrasound imaging, your doctor will thread a long needle through the guide and into each mature follicle, aspirating the egg and fluid inside.
  • After aspirating the contents of the follicles, the content will go to the IVF laboratory.
  • When the egg retrieval is complete, we will move you to the recovery area, where you will wake up and receive pain medication, if necessary.
  • When you have recovered sufficiently, we will discharge you with recovery instructions.

If your partner’s sperm is to be used for fertilization, we will ask him to provide a semen sample after the egg retrieval. We will prepare his sperm in the laboratory to inseminate the retrieved eggs three or four hours later.

What to expect after the retrieval

Patients at our Virginia fertility center may experience mild abdominal discomfort and some vaginal spotting after egg retrieval. During your recovery, we advise you to rest. You can take Tylenol to relieve any pain. You should avoid medicines like ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin and aspirin because they can increase your risk of bleeding. You can eat, drink, shower and use the bathroom as needed. However, you should refrain from intercourse, heavy lifting, heavy exercise and hot baths.

If you experience a fever over 101°F, vaginal bleeding heavy enough to soak through a pad every 1-2 hours, severe abdominal discomfort, or difficulty breathing, you should call us immediately.

Contact our office to learn more about egg retrieval.