Egg retrieval in the IVF cycle
The egg retrieval appointment is an exciting one at our New Braunfels fertility center. It comes after months of testing, medication and observation. It also coincides with retrieving a sperm specimen from the intended father or a donor.
If the intended parents are using an egg donor, we will use medication to perfectly time the donor’s cycle with the intended mother or the gestational carrier. This ensures that the recipient’s uterus is ready for pregnancy after we fertilize the eggs.
How egg retrieval works
Before our New Braunfels fertility center team can retrieve her eggs, a patient must undergo ovarian stimulation. Ovarian stimulation uses medication to cause a woman’s ovaries to produce many mature eggs during ovulation. We monitor the patient’s ovaries to ensure that she is producing multiple eggs and to keep track of their size.
When her eggs reach an appropriate size, we will give the patient an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that triggers their maturation. We will schedule her egg retrieval to fall 36 hours after this injection. At her appointment, egg retrieval proceeds as follows.
- To prevent discomfort, we will administer anesthesia to place the patient in a twilight sleep.
- Susan Hudson will use a transvaginal ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the vagina and into an ovary.
- She will inject the needle into each follicle in the ovary and use it to aspirate the follicular fluid, including the egg. Dr. Hudson will gather the mature eggs and their follicular fluid in a test tube.
- Our team stops administering anesthesia and allows the patient to wake up and recover before going home. Due to the anesthesia, patients shouldn’t feel any pain during egg retrieval. Some soreness and spotting are common in the days that follow.
After the retrieval, our New Braunfels fertility center providers take the eggs to the laboratory. There, our technicians will isolate the eggs from the follicular fluid. They expose the eggs to sperm for fertilization. After several days, our team examines the resulting embryos to choose those that have the best chance of resulting in a healthy baby. The next step is embryo transfer.
Experience and understanding at every step
Egg retrieval is a big step in a process that may have taken years for intended parents to achieve. We understand the stress, excitement and worry that they may feel during this time. Through personal experience and years of practice, we can give parents the support and care they need throughout their fertility journey.
To learn more about egg retrieval and IVF treatment, please contact our office today.