Definition - What does Egg Retrieval mean?
Egg retrieval is the method with which a physician removes fully matured eggs from the ovaries. Following this procedure, the egg is fertilized and inserted into the uterus in a process known as in vitro fertilization (IVF). The egg retrieval procedure typically occurs following a course of ovulation inducing medications. The procedure is low risk and brief, lasting 30 minutes and causing only mild discomfort.
FertilitySmarts explains Egg Retrieval
The egg retrieval process is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure where the patient remains awake. 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 collected eggs are analyzed for health and maturity. Well-developed, healthy eggs are then combined with sperm in order to create embryos. Within a week of the egg retrieval, the embryo is inserted into the uterus, completing the IVF process.
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.