Texas Fertility Center

Egg Retrieval

Learn more about the egg retrieval procedure

Egg retrieval is the last (and most critical) step of the IVF stimulation process at our Austin IVF clinic. During this procedure, the physician actually removes the eggs from the ovary.

We perform egg retrieval 36 hours after the administration of a trigger shot. The trigger shot may consist of HCG, Ovidrel or Lupron. The exact choice of the trigger depends upon the patient’s age, her estradiol level and her stimulation protocol.

Performing the egg retrieval

The egg retrieval procedure is performed in the operating room at the Austin Fertility Surgery Center. We perform these procedures early in the morning, typically starting as early as 6:00 a.m. Patients should come to the Surgery Center approximately one hour before their scheduled retrieval time. The team at our Austin IVF clinic will instruct them not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the retrieval.

For the egg retrieval, the patient will receive intravenous sedation, which typically consists of propofol (a rapid-acting barbiturate) and a narcotic. The retrieval process takes approximately 10-15 minutes and patients are in a semiconscious state during that time.

Although patients will continue to breathe on their own during the egg retrieval, they will not be aware of what is going on and they will not feel any pain. There will not be a breathing tube in the woman’s throat and no incisions will be made in her body. Rather, we perform the egg retrieval by placing an ultrasound probe in the patient’s vagina and then passing a needle through the top of the vagina, alongside the probe, directly into the follicles.

What happens after the egg retrieval

Once we aspirate the fluid from each follicle, it is taken to the IVF laboratory where the Ovation Fertility embryologists use high-powered microscopes to find the eggs. After identifying the eggs, they place them into culture in an incubator under closely monitored environmental conditions.

At the completion of the retrieval, the woman awakens and she is taken immediately to the recovery room where she will continue to wake up. If she requires any pain medication, she will receive it at this time. She can go home approximately one hour after the completion of the procedure.

Complications of egg retrieval are very rare, but they can include the risk of injury to blood vessels, the intestine or the bladder. Patients typically return to work the day after the retrieval, although most patients feel some discomfort for a few days after an egg retrieval.

If you would like to learn more about egg retrieval or any other step of IVF, contact our Austin IVF clinic for an appointment.