Egg Retrieval

The egg retrieval, also called Trans Vaginal Aspiration, almost always takes place in the morning and last about 15-30 minutes.  The donor will be sedated for this procedure with “Twilight Sedation” not general anesthesia.  This means that the donor cannot drive herself home and alternative arrangements need to be made in advance as well as a last-minute backup plan in case of emergency.  

The aspiration is done vaginally, without incision or the need for stitches.  The IVF doctor will use an ultrasound with a probe to locate the ovarian follicles.  A very thin hollow catheter with suction capabilities is pushed through the vagina wall and is pushed against the surface of the ovary.  Fluid from each follicle is then drained and somewhere in the fluid is a precious egg. This process continues until as many follicles as can be seen are drained then repeated on the second ovary.  The tubes containing the follicular fluid are prelabelled with donor’s name and ID as well as that of the intended parent. These tubes are immediately taken to the IVF lab where an embryologist will isolate the eggs and placed the eggs in a medium where they will continue to grow for a few hours and then fertilized or frozen.

The donor will rest in the IVF clinic recovery room for about an hour after the procedure. The donor is then ready to return home.   It is highly recommended that the donor takes the rest of the day to relax at home and indulge in binge watching her favorite TV shows or movies.  The donor is cleared to return to work or normal activities the following day.  The donor should have her menstrual cycle about 2 weeks after the retrieval. Warning:  the donor is still fertile and frequently not all eggs were retrieved, and she will be able to conceive that month so be sure to use remind her to use protection during intercourse.