Jul 25

IVF and the Egg Retrieval Stage: What to Expect

San Antonio IVF Egg Retrieval Stage

Posted on July 25, 2014 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

A woman holding an egg in front of her belly, symbolizing the IVF egg retrieval processThe Fertility Center of San Antonio has built its reputation as one of the most esteemed fertility centers in the United States for many reasons, not least of which is our impressive success rates in helping couples achieve successful pregnancies through in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Another reason for our renown is that we are wholly dedicated to the education of our patients so that they can make the most informed and confident decisions possible regarding their treatment. We explain every stage of the IVF procedure to prospective patients in plain detail so that they know precisely what to expect if they commit to treatment.

During consultations with our fertility experts in San Antonio, the IVF egg retrieval stage is one of the many points we discuss with patients, helping them to understand the process and gladly answering any questions or addressing any concerns they might have. It is our experience that the more patients understand about the stages of IVF, the better prepared they are to undergo the procedure and take that step toward having the families of their dreams.

Before Egg Retrieval

When it has been determined that the patient’s eggs are ready to be retrieved, she will be given a dose of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to force the final maturation of the eggs. Within the next 36 hours, the eggs will be retrieved.

Patients are placed under anesthesia during the egg retrieval process and are therefore advised not to eat or drink within eight hours of the procedure. Patients should arrange to have their male partners accompany them either with a sperm sample they have collected at home or prepared to produce a sperm sample in office.

During Egg Retrieval

After anesthesia has been administered and taken effect, the procedure will begin. We use a process called ultrasound-guided transvaginal aspiration, in which a vaginal ultrasound probe is used to guide a needle used to retrieve the eggs through gentle suction. This needle penetrates the wall of the vagina into the ovary, where fluid is collected from follicles that contain mature eggs. The fluid containing the egg is sent to our lab, where it is examined and the eggs are identified and prepared for fertilization. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes, followed by another 30 minutes to recover and remain under observation.

After Egg Retrieval

Some patients experience discomfort after egg retrieval, which can be managed through Tylenol. Ibuprofen should not be taken after egg retrieval. Many patients also report feeling dizzy and nauseated after the procedure; strenuous activity is prohibited and rest is advised. Antibiotics are generally prescribed after egg retrieval to prevent infection. Some light spotting, however, is normal and is no cause for concern. Pads can be used to address this spotting, but tampons should be avoided, as should baths.

As with any medical procedure, patients should follow the post-procedural instructions given to them to the letter to ensure proper healing and a swift recovery.

Learn More about IVF and the Egg Retrieval Process

To learn more about IVF and the egg retrieval process, please contact our fertility center today.

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