Definition - What does Follicle Aspiration mean?
Follicle aspiration is a procedure that is used to obtain mature eggs from the ovary for fertility-related procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing. Fertility medications are given prior to follicle aspiration to stimulate the ovaries to mature more than one egg, and when correctly performed follicle aspiration usually yields 8-15 eggs.
It is a surgical procedure that is done under sedation or general anesthesia. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to locate the ovaries and mature follicles within it, and then a specialized needle is introduced through the vagina to the ovaries to aspirate the eggs.
FertilitySmarts explains Follicle Aspiration
A combination of medications such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), clomiphene citrate and Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) are used to stimulate the ovaries to develop more than one oocyte, which has greatly increased the success rate of IVF procedures.
Eggs that are obtained by follicle aspiration may be used immediately for IVF, or they may be preserved by freezing for later use. Egg freezing is beneficial for women who are about to undergo medical procedures or treatment like chemotherapy and pelvic surgery that have the potential to make them subfertile. It also helps women who wish to get pregnant at a later stage in life.
Follicle aspiration is a frequently performed procedure that is very, and rarely leads to complications. In about 2-3% of patients, aspiration can be difficult due to the ovaries being inaccessible by the usual needles and therefore need expert assistance.