In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a multi-step infertility treatment that requires detailed planning and preparation. In basic terms, IVF treatment involves fertilizing a woman's eggs outside of the body and then transferring the fertilized eggs to her uterus (or the uterus of a surrogate). As the second step of your treatment, we will perform egg retrieval at our San Antonio, TX, fertility center. The skilled doctors at the Fertility Center of San Antonio have extensive experience performing this delicate procedure. To learn more about the egg retrieval process, contact our fertility clinic today and schedule a personal consultation.
Preparing for Egg Retrieval
Before performing egg retrieval, doctors will first use ovulation induction to maximize the number of healthy eggs that can be extracted. Ovulation induction involves administering specialized hormones to encourage the development and release of eggs.
The Egg Retrieval Process
The timing of the egg retrieval procedure is extremely important, since eggs will not properly fertilize if they are premature or too old. Before beginning the procedure, we will administer anesthesia to ensure the patient's comfort. Once the patient is comfortable, the doctor will insert an ultrasound-guided needle into the vagina to access the ovarian follicles – this process is known as ultrasound-guided transvaginal aspiration. The device emits sound waves, which are used to form an image of the reproductive organs. Using gentle suction, the doctor will retrieve fluid containing mature eggs. Once this process is complete, the eggs will be sent to our laboratory for preparation. The eggs will be combined with a sperm sample (either provided by your partner or a donor) in a petri dish with a special medium. The sperm and eggs will then be left to fertilize and incubate for several days.
What You Can Expect After Treatment
Egg retrieval can typically be completed in less than an hour. Patients may experience some mild discomfort after the treatment, as well as fatigue and nausea. However, these symptoms can typically be managed with acetaminophen (Tylenol), though patients should avoid any medications that contain ibuprofen, which can interfere with treatment. Since patients will likely feel some degree of dizziness or lightheadedness after treatment, we advise women undergoing egg retrieval to have someone escort them to and from our clinic.
After treatment, you should rest and avoid strenuous activity. If you experience light spotting during recovery, do not be alarmed, as this is normal. You can manage any spotting with absorbent pads. However, be sure to avoid a bath or the use of tampons. Our doctors will provide detailed post-treatment instructions to help ensure a speedy recovery.
Schedule a Personal Consultation
At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, our experienced doctors and compassionate staff are dedicated to educating our patients about infertility treatment so they can make informed decisions about their care. If you have any questions regarding IVF treatment, or if you are interested in learning more about your treatment options, we are here to help. To schedule a personal consultation, contact the Fertility Center of San Antonio today.