Whether you are going for in-vitro fertilization (IVF), freezing your eggs or donating them, the egg retrieval process remains the most crucial for them. Although it might seem daunting, understanding the process beforehand can help set your mind at ease.
When you decide to go for in-vitro fertilization to get pregnant, you will have to undergo an IVF egg retrieval procedure. Along with the actual process, the preparation before that is also very important. To start with, you will have to take medication to ensure that your follicles (at least one or two) reach maturity. This will be done by injecting medicine containing the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These will help stimulate your ovaries to release many eggs. After 8-14 days, when the follicles reach a specific size, as seen during an ultrasound, egg retrieval be done. The appropriate size differs from clinic to clinic, but 16mm is the average size. Once that is decided by the doctor, he or she will inject the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to enhance the maturation and growth of the eggs. This injection will be administered at very specific time so that the egg retrieval can happen just prior to starting of ovulation.
Egg retrieval is done two days after the HCG shot stimulates the eggs to mature. The timing is extremely important and will be determined by your doctor. The egg retrieval process is a quick surgery which lasts for about 15-30 minutes and is not very invasive. You will be under anaesthesia so the pain will be minimal. This is how the egg retrieval process is conducted:
Since the procedure takes place under sedation, you will have to fast (not eat and drink) for around 8 to 10 hours. You will also be asked to remove your jewellery, nail polish or contact lenses. It is a one-day procedure, it is better you take the day off and rest for the next two days after that. The nurse or anesthesiologist will start an IV for you before the procedure and give you some important medical information. Once things get started, you will be given anaesthesia either through a face mask or IV.
The average egg retrieval age for IVF is usually between 30-40 and the number of eggs that can be retrieved can range from 1 or 2 to more than 30. If a woman is older, the number of eggs retrieved will increase because then the chances of getting a normal embryo will be more. For example, a woman who has had 4 eggs retrieved by IVF compared to a woman who has had more than 10 eggs retrieved has a slightly lesser likelihood of successful embryo transfer and ensuing pregnancy
Since you will be under anaesthesia, you will be unconscious throughout the procedure and will not feel anything. You may experience cramping in your abdomen afterwards, similar to period cramps, but it is nothing to worry about. The doctor can prescribe a simple pain-relief medication to get you through it.
There are several steps to care about an egg retrieval process –
You will get to know the results after 24 hours of your egg retrieval process. After retrieval, you can expect a 50 percent loss at each growth stage of your eggs. This value differs from person to person, and some may be given different odds.
This makes the number of eggs retrieved to be very crucial so that you can increase the probability of successful fertilization towards the end. But typically, up to 80 percent of eggs retrieved can be normal, mature and ready for implantation or freezing.
Post egg retrieval process, you will have to watch out for the following symptoms and call your doctor immediately if you see them manifest –
Although the odds may seem very daunting if you do everything according to what your doctor says, there is no reason to lose hope or think that your IVF egg retrieval process may not be successful. It is important to stay calm and push any worries aside so that you can be ready to start the wonderful chapter of being a parent soon.
This post was last modified on November 3, 2018 4:26 pm
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