In preparation for the egg retrieval procedure in the hospital, you will receive small doses of medication given intravenously by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). This will help you relax and make you sleepy. Typically, you will not feel any discomfort from the procedure, which usually lasts no more than 15-30 minutes depending on the number of follicles you have.

For most women, recovery from the administered medications is rapid (about 30 minutes) and generally nausea is minimal. You will be given an antibiotic intravenously and your vagina will be cleaned to minimize the risk of infection. A vaginal ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina to facilitate egg retrieval. The eggs are then retrieved with a needle inserted through the vaginal wall under the guidance of ultrasound. No abdominal incisions are required.

Pre-Retrieval Instructions

Please arrive at North Dallas IVF at your designated time. You should have nothing to eat or drink past 11:30 p.m. the night before your retrieval. Your male partner should abstain from ejaculation for at least two to three days before retrieval but no more than five days, in preparation to produce a semen sample at the time of egg retrieval.

Try to get a full eight hours of sleep, so you will be able to recovery quickly from the anesthesia medication. Please make sure to arrive without jewelry, nail polish, makeup, perfume or contact lenses. You may wear your wedding ring(s).

Shortly before your retrieval, you will be escorted to the preparation area. While you are in the preparation area, please try to empty your bladder completely. You will meet with the CRNA, who will review your medical history, and the embryology staff to discuss the procedure. When all is ready, you will be taken into the procedure room and you will start your IVF.

Your partner will be asked to provide a semen specimen during the time of your retrieval. On some occasions, a second sample is needed by the embryology staff after the assessment of the first sample. We ask that you remain in the hospital until cleared by the embryology staff.

IVF patients typically remain in the hospital for 30 – 40 minutes after admission to the recovery area. Once you are discharge from the hospital, you should not drive home or for the rest of the day. Following your retrieval, you may eat or drink when you feel well enough. You will start your luteal phase support (progesterone and/or estrogen) the night of your procedure.

Post-Retrieval Instructions

Following your egg retrieval, you may experience some tenderness and cramping in your pelvic area. You may also have some light vaginal spotting or bleeding. This bleeding should be scant and may be red to brown in color.

The medications used during your egg retrieval may not be eliminated by your body for up to 24 hours, so you may feel “hung over” or just not your normal self. During this period, we ask that you do not:

  • Drive a car or operate machinery or power tools.
  • Drink any alcoholic beverages.
  • Make any important decisions.

If you experience any nausea following the procedure, stick to clear liquids and crackers until the nausea subsides. It is usually best to avoid spicy foods for at least 24 hours after your procedure.

Please contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Fever greater than 100.4F that lasts for more than two hours
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding (soaking a pad per hour for two hours)
  • Unusual and increasing pelvic area discomfort
  • Difficulty in or inability to urinate or change in bowel activity
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Sharp or shooting pains
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Unusual back pain

You will be contacted on the day following your egg retrieval and given the status on your eggs and sperm. At this time, fertilization will be evident in most cases, but embryo quality will not be available. If undergoing ICSI, you will receive a call regarding the results of your ICSI.

Although rare, one of the risks of IVF is lack of fertilization. Sometimes the reason for this is understood, but many times no reasons are apparent. If this occurs, monitoring will be discontinued. You will be given the opportunity to meet with your physician and/or the embryologist to discuss this outcome.

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