Egg retrieval also referred as oocyte retrieval (OCR) or transvaginal oocyte retrieval (TVOR) is one of the several steps involved in Invitro fertilization (IVF) in order to remove oocytes from the ovary of the female, thereby permitting fertilization externally, that is, outside the body. TVOR is appropriately referred to as transvaginal ovum retrieval once the oocytes have fully grown into ova, as usually happens in IVF. This phase of IVF can take up to two weeks, and more than one cycle may be necessary.
What to expect in egg retrieval procedure?
Egg retrieval is generally performed at the clinic once the egg follicles attain a particular size (the average being 16mm) as established by the ultrasound specialist. The doctor will administer an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), once it is affirmed that the patient has fulfilled the criteria to proceed for egg retrieval. HCG is a hormone which determines the final growth and maturity of the eggs. This injection is vigilantly timed so that the egg retrieval will be conducted at the best possible time before ovulation.
Procedure for Egg retrieval.
At the time of egg retrieval, the patient is sedated hence does not feel anything and the doctor may also prescribe pain medication.
Egg retrieval is a fast procedure which typically takes 20-30 minutes.
The standard method is the transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, where a needle is attached to an internal ultra sound probe which is inserted into the vagina to locate and identify the ovarian follicles. The needle punctures multiple follicles and with the help of a suction device, the egg and the fluid within the follicle are removed. Post this procedure the embryologist then examines the fluid and finds the egg that appears healthy and mature. Thereafter it is mixed with sperm to attempt fertilization.
Post procedure expectancy.
It is imperative to follow doctor’s advice. The patient may be advised several medications by the doctor including antibiotics to thwart the risk of infections and most likely suggest steroids to condense any inflammation in the reproductive organs, and hormonal supplements to supply added support to the endometrial lining. The patient must take these medications exactly as prescribed.
Further the patient may also be asked to avoid sexual intercourse for a specified period, or avoid soaking in water.
Also one should immediately consult the doctor in case of the following:
- If one has temperature above 101 F
- If one experiences excessive abdominal pain or swelling
- The patient may feel nausea, discomfort or have vomiting feeling. But if it does not fade away after a while then the doctor immediately needs to be contacted.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (although light vaginal bleeding is normal)
- If the patient has complexity while urinating, or if it hurts during urination
feeling of fatigue or dizziness