There are many options available for men and women who would like to start a family but are unable to conceive naturally. By meeting with a skilled fertility specialist, you’ll be able to learn more about all of your options for addressing your needs.

One of the most popular fertility treatment options available today is in vitro fertilization (IVF). Let’s take a few moments right now to consider the IVF process as a whole, with a special focus on the egg retrieval stage of the procedure.

About In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which viable eggs are taken from a woman’s ovaries in order for them to be fertilized in a lab setting. Once this is done, the egg is then transferred into the womb so that the pregnancy can be brought to term. The use of donor eggs, donor sperm, or even a surrogate carrier are all possibilities with regard to the IVF process.

What is egg retrieval?

Egg retrieval is the part of the IVF process in which the eggs are taken from the ovaries. This is generally done with the assistance of fertility drugs in order to induce ovulation, with the actual process occurring just before ovulation occurs. Without egg retrieval, the entire IVF process would not be possible.

Preparing for Egg Retrieval

Patients will usually be advised not to eat or drink roughly 8 to 10 hours prior to egg retrieval. Any jewelry, contact lenses, and so forth will be removed before the procedure simply to ensure relaxation and calm.

The Egg Retrieval Process

Once a woman’s eggs are fully matured, the process can be performed. Women are placed under sedation for the egg retrieval process in order to prevent any pain or undue discomfort. An ultrasound probe with a small needle is carefully inserted into the vagina, with the fertility specialist using ultrasound to help guide the probe. A gentle, controlled amount of suction is used to extract the matured eggs.

This process is performed on both ovaries. In all, egg retrieval will take 15 to 20 minutes to perform.

What to Expect After the Egg Retrieval Procedure

After egg retrieval, patients will remain at the practice for rest and observation for one to two hours before being able to go home. Cramps, soreness, and some spotting after egg retrieval are all normal. Patients should refrain from vigorous physical activity, soaking in a bath or hot tub, and sexual intercourse for the amount of time advised by their fertility specialist.

Should you experience any adverse pain, a high temperature, heavy vaginal bleeding, fainting spells, painful urination, or dizziness, be sure to contact your fertility specialist right away.

What comes next for IVF patients?

As patients recover, the retrieved eggs will be inseminated and fertilized in the lab. Your fertility specialist will keep you updated on the entire process as it unfolds. When the embryos are ready, the embryo transfer stage (placement of embryos into the womb) can be performed.

Learn More About Your Fertility Treatment Options

If you would like to learn more about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and your many options available for starting the family that you have always wanted, be sure to contact our fertility treatment centers in New Orleans today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make smart decisions about your fertility treatment options.