The Centre for Reproductive Medicine is committed to patient wellness and patient education. These are both extremely important with fertility treatments since they are multi-step procedures and can prove complicated to many prospective patients. This may explain why so many people throughout the Lubbock area have come to our practice in order to learn more about in vitro fertilization (IVF), one of the most popular fertility treatments performed today.
In a previous blog post we discussed the ovulation induction stage and why that's an important first step in the IVF process. Let's continue to look at what happens step by step, focusing now on the egg retrieval stage of treatment.
What is egg retrieval?
Egg retrieval refers to the part of the IVF process in which eggs are taken from a woman's ovaries in order to be fertilized in a controlled lab setting. In order to retrieve the eggs, ovulation induction is first necessary.
Given the nature of the IVF process, egg retrieval is one of the most crucial parts of the treatment process; IVF couldn't be performed without it.
How Patients Should Prepare for Egg Retrieval
Egg retrieval does require patients to prepare carefully for the process. During the consultation process, you will be given detailed instructions to follow for the entire IVF process.
In general, patients are advised not to eat or drink for 8 to 10 hours before the egg retrieval is performed. Patients are also advised to visit the practice wearing loose fitting and comfortable clothing, and not to wear any jewelry or contacts. This simply ensures comfort while they are undergoing the treatment.
The Egg Retrieval Procedure
Patients are first placed under sedation in order to ensure that they experience as little pain and discomfort as possible. An ultrasound probe with a tiny needle is then inserted into the patient's vagina very carefully. Ultrasound will be used in order to guide the probe and prevent any accidental or unintended contact with other organs/structures. When properly position, gentle suction is used to remove the viable eggs.
The retrieval process is performed on both ovaries. The whole process should take roughly 15 minutes to 20 minutes to perform in total.
Recovering After Egg Retrieval Is Performed
While the procedure is brief, the process does require an hour or two of rest at the practice before the patient can return home. Sensations of soreness, cramping, and spotting are all normal side effects. It's recommended that patients refrain from sexual activity, vigorous exercise, or hot baths until advised otherwise by their fertility specialist.
As you recover, it's important that you note any acute issues with pain and discomfort, such as dizziness, a fever, heavy spotting, or pain while urinating. These may be the signs of a complication and you should contact the fertility center as soon as possible for treatment.
The Next Step In the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process
Once the viable eggs have been retrieved, the next step will be the insemination and fertilization of the eggs. We'll look at that process in more detail next month on the blog.
Schedule a Consultation for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If you would like more information about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and how it may be of great benefit to you and your needs, we encourage you to contact our fertility treatment center today. The entire team here at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best results when it comes to fertility treatment.