Egg Retrieval- What to Expect

By the time an egg donor or IM reaches her retrieval day she very fertile and ready to have upwards of 30 eggs extracted! The idea of something coded as a minor surgical procedure can sound a little scary, but the truth is that this is a very routine in office process that is generally pain free.

The donor or IM will be typically scheduled for a morning appointment at the clinic. It is usually a good idea to arrive a bit early in order to fill out any paperwork and have time to ask any questions you may have. As you will be placed under light sedation for the procedure, you should not consume food after midnight on the day of the retrieval.

When it is time for the procedure you will be put under light sedation for comfort. The doctor will then use a very small needle, guided by an ultrasound, to retrieve the eggs. The needle is inserted through the vagina where it will pass into the follicles and ovaries. The needle then extracts the eggs with a gentle suction action. The fluid surrounding the eggs is also extracted. After the eggs have been safely captured the needle and ultrasound wand are removed. The entire procedure takes between 15-30 minutes to complete.

Despite the quick procedure you should plan on spending another two to three hours at the office. The doctor will want you to come out of the light sedation state and monitor you for a while before releasing you. Plan on having someone at the clinic with you in order to drive you home.

Once you’re home you are encouraged to spend the rest of the day resting and recovering. You can expect to feel menstrual cramping and to see some light blood spotting when you wipe. If the pain or bleeding become extreme you should call your nurse to let her know what you’re experiencing.  Painful urination, a temperature above 101.0 degrees, fainting or vomiting are all highly unlikely but should also be reported if experienced. Normal activities can typically resume the day following the retrieval.

Occasionally the doctor will ask to see you in office one final time following your next period. This is just a precaution to make sure you’ve healed properly.

Teo Martinez

Teo Martinez is the CEO of Growing Generations, a surrogacy and egg donation agency headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Educated at both UCLA and Pepperdine University, and with over 15 years of experience working in assisted reproduction, Teo’s background makes him one of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the field.