Nashville Fertility

Egg Retrieval

What happens during an egg retrieval at our clinic?

The Tennessee fertility doctors at our clinic provide high-quality care to patients before, during and after an egg retrieval. This outpatient procedure consists of the doctor collecting the eggs of a patient who is undergoing IVF, or in vitro fertilization. The retrieval is safe, quick and often includes an easy recovery.

The egg retrieval procedure, step-by-step

The first steps of an IVF cycle at our clinic involve the patient working with one of our Tennessee fertility doctors. Together, they will create a schedule for administering fertility medications and receiving monitoring. When the medications cause enough of the patient’s eggs to mature, the fertility specialist schedules the retrieval. The IVF retrieval consists of a series of simple steps.

Trigger shot. When the doctor determines that the woman’s eggs are ready for retrieval, they have her self-administer the trigger shot. This is typically Lupron or hCG. This shot causes the final maturation of the eggs and prepares them for retrieval.

Pre-surgery preparation. Next, 35-36 hours after the administration of the trigger shot, the doctor retrieves the eggs. The woman arrives at our clinic about an hour before the IVF retrieval to complete paperwork and prepare for the procedure. We recommend patients wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Sedation. An anesthesiologist sedates the patient before the retrieval. This sedation prevents her from feeling discomfort.

Egg retrieval. To retrieve the eggs, the doctor uses an ultrasound probe to locate the mature ovarian follicles. They then use a small, hollow needle to extract each egg with gentle suction. This process doesn’t require any incisions.

The retrieval procedure itself usually lasts an average of 30 minutes.

What happens after the IVF retrieval?

Following the retrieval, the eggs are sent to the lab. There, an embryologist fertilizes them with sperm from the patient’s partner or sperm donor. During this time, the anesthesiologist brings the woman out of sedation and a nurse transfers her to a recovery area.

Patients spend about two hours in recovery following the IVF retrieval. In the recovery area, medical care specialists confirm that the patient is ready to go home. The doctor also lets her know how many eggs were retrieved. The woman’s companion can then take her home.

Women should rest and abstain from driving on the day of the procedure. Most women can return to normal activities the day after the retrieval. However, our doctors do not recommend strenuous activity until the woman’s period resumes, which usually occurs after about two weeks.

Mild bloating, soreness and light bleeding are normal following an egg retrieval. However, over-the-counter pain medication is usually all the woman needs to treat discomfort.

The skilled Tennessee fertility doctors at our clinic provide exceptional care during each step of the IVF retrieval, helping to ensure the patient has a positive experience. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.

(615) 321-4740