Egg Retrieval

Last Updated: March 28, 2019

Definition - What does Egg Retrieval mean?

Egg retrieval is a procedure when a doctor removes mature eggs from the ovaries for use in assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures that can include fertility preservation, egg donation, or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The retrieval procedure typically occurs following a course of ovarian stimulation medications. The procedure is considered to be low risk and brief, lasting 30 minutes and causing only mild discomfort.

FertilitySmarts explains Egg Retrieval

The egg retrieval process is an outpatient procedure where the patient may remain awake or be sedated. A sedative and antibiotics are administered through an IV, and a catheter is inserted to empty the bladder. The vagina and cervix are then numbed with pain medication.

An ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina, with a needle guide attached. The probe allows the physician to direct the needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary, where it collects the egg and surrounding liquids. The fluid is passed on to an embryologist who identifies the number of collected eggs.

Following the procedure, the individual will typically be able to dress and leave the office after two hours of observation. Lower abdominal discomfort, such as cramping and minor vaginal bleeding, may be experienced after the procedure and last up to one week.

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